Almost 500 foreign mafia gangs operate in Spain

14th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 September 2005, MADRID — There are now almost 500 foreign mafia gangs in Spain and last year they made EUR 1.2 billion in profit, a report says.

14 September 2005

MADRID — There are now almost 500 foreign mafia gangs in Spain and last year they made EUR 1.2 billion in profit, a report says.

The Spanish General Police Commission report said the numbers are growing at an alarming rate.

Last year, they made at least EUR 1bn profits, though they were also said to own property worth EUR 1.4bn.

There are now 494 mafia gangs, employing 10,000 people, whereas there were only 486 organisations three years ago.

Bulgarians, Romanians, Poles and the Chinese are the fastest growing gangs.

But though no numbers were given, the report said a sizeable number are also British-born Asian crooks.

They have replaced the generation of British criminals on the so-called Costa del Crime.

Though drug dealing is their bread and butter, they are also  involved in time-share fraud, lottery swindles and stealing high-performance cars to order.

The report said they are prepared to use extreme violence to get their ends or to settle scores with rival gangs.

In 2004, there were nine murders linked to organised crime, though police believe there were many more.

The gangs are also spreading their tentacles across the country, away from southern Spain.

The report lists areas of "high" mafia activity on the Costa del Sol, further north from Almeria right up the coast to Valencia, in Catalonia, in north-east Spain, Madrid and the Basque Country.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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