Nationwide sweep nets 300 house robbers

17th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 March 2006, MADRID — Nearly 300 members of a Romanian organised crime gang allegedly involved in violent robberies in homes across Spain have been arrested in 11 provinces.

17 March 2006

MADRID — Nearly 300 members of a Romanian organised crime gang allegedly involved in violent robberies in homes across Spain have been arrested in 11 provinces.

Interior minister José Antonio Alonso announced the arrests of 297 Romanians linked to scores of violent robberies.

Police detained 283 suspects in raids in Valencia, Almería, Barcelona, Seville, Zaragoza, Castellón, Palma in Mallorca, Madrid, Santander, Málaga and Toledo.

Fourteen others were arrested in Romania.

They are said to have used extreme violence to carry out robberies of homes, many of them owned by foreigners who are perceived to be wealthy.

The suspects are also said to be involved in falsifying documents, credit cards, drug pushing and prostitution.

Alonso named the alleged head of the gang as Iorgu I, alias 'Talanu'.

Police seized large sums of cash along with information used to falsify credit cards, 4.5kg of jewellery and a collection of weapons.

Some of those arrested are currently serving prison sentences already for other crimes.

The police operation, called 'Bralia', started in September last year alter information was passed to Spanish police by the Romanian embassy about a crime gang which targeted long-distance lorry drivers.

When the gang tried to rob a lorry, police caught them, giving them vital clues which allowed them to start the present operation.

Alonso said the gang was also working in other European countries.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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