THE SPANISH authorities have busted two criminal gangs who specialised in using explosives to steal money from cash machines. 

A total of 14 people were detained thanks to 23 simultaneous raids, which also turned up a series of weapons and ammunition, jammers for alarm systems, cash, fake numberplates and uniforms from the National Police and Civil Guard. 

The criminals were using these uniforms while carrying out violent robberies, allegedly holding their victims against their will and employing violent methods. 

The explosives used by the gangs were created from gunpowder extracted from fireworks and other pyrotechnic items. 

The members of the gang, who have long criminal records, are facing charges for more than 15 crimes, which saw them net as much as €600,000.

The joint operation by the Civil Guard, the National Police and the Catalan regional police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, also discovered a marijuana plantation containing 112 plants.

The investigation began in August 2022, according to a statement from the Civil Guard, when two robberies were carried out in Malaga using explosives. The same gang was assumed to be behind a similar robbery months later in Valencia.

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