Russian 'capos' arrested in biggest European operation
20 June 2005, MADRID — Spanish police have arrested 22 mafia 'capos' or bosses of the Russian and Georgian crime gangs in raids from Barcelona to Marbella.
20 June 2005
MADRID — Spanish police have arrested 22 mafia 'capos' or bosses of the Russian and Georgian crime gangs in raids from Barcelona to Marbella.
In what police called the biggest anti-mafia operation in Europe, the 'capos' were among 28 people detained over the weekend for alleged offences of money laundering, fraud and belonging to criminal gangs.
Most were from mafias from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
More than 400 officers were involved in 'Operation Wasp' in which 41 homes were raided.
At least 800 bank accounts were frozen in 41 different banks.
More than 42 luxury cars, including Mercedes, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW and Bentleys were seized.
Police also said "numerous" properties were raided along the Spanish coast, from Marbella on the Costa del Sol to Barcelona in the north-east.
The international operation has involved help from German, French, Belgian, US, Russian and Israeli forces as well as Interpol and Europol.
The Spanish Interior ministry said the Georgian mafia had been involved the second phase of expansion, principally in Catalonia, the Costa del Sol and Alicante.
They had been creating economic and financial infrastructures often with Spanish front men to give them extra legitimacy.
These financial entities were often used for money laundering funds gained from criminal activities in their own countries.
The cash was used to buy "numerous" bars, houses, restaurants and luxury cars.
The operation started in Barcelona, Castelldefels, Malaga, Marbella, Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Torremolinos, Alicante, Orihuela, Benissa and Altea.
Police disclosed the 'capos' were called 'Vor z Konen' in Russian, in the same way as the 'capo di capi' or boss of bosses of the Italian mafias were known.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news