3 Jun, 2024 @ 18:30
1 min read

Russian mafia bosses who ‘operated stolen car ring across 10 countries’ are arrested on Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca

Russian mafia bosses who ‘operated stolen car ring across 10 countries’ are arrested on Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca

TWO Russians have been arrested in Spain for allegedly masterminding a criminal gang that used vulnerable Ukrainians to steal and sell rental cars.

The organisation is alleged to have made over €4 million in just two years.

One of the arrests was made by the Policia Nacional in La Nucia, with the detainee accused of money laundering among a list of charges.

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SEIZED CASH

Another Russian was arrested in the Marbella area and he was allegedly in charge of disposing of the stolen cars and he is said to have used a German rental firm with branches on the Costa del Sol as a front.

Both men have been remanded in custody.

Their arrests were part of a pan-European operation involving police in France, Poland, the Ukraine, Germany, and Latvia.

The probe was co-ordinated by Europol and Eurojust and saw 50 people arrested.

13 vehicles- 11 of them stolen- were seized in simultaneous raids across five countries.

Fake documents, over €150,000 in cash, firearms, an assault rifle and three war grenades were also impounded.

Authorities said that during their investigation, around 50 luxury hire cars were stolen and ended up primarily in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Eastern European.

The Policia Nacional got involved towards the end of 2022 after detecting an increase in the theft of high-end vehicles from rental companies.

They discovered that this was happening across Europe and a special Europol task force was created to find the offenders.

A large criminal network made up of Ukrainian and Russian citizens was detected, which operated throughout the Europe using Ukrainian citizens in vulnerable situations to steal high-end vehicles for later sale.

They were mainly female or elderly who needed money and so acted as mules on behalf of the gang to steal cars from various European countries.

A mule would steal several vehicles in various countries, before returning to the Ukraine.

They would then replaced by somebody else who went to different areas and stole from other rental firms to try to put police off their trail.

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