Spanish police seize property linked to Russia-Georgian gang

9th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spanish police have seized properties worth 24 million euros they suspect are linked to money-laundering operations by a Russian-Georgian crime syndicate, the interior ministry said Thursday.

An investigation "has led to the discovery of various property deals suspected to have been carried out to launder money in Spain from illegal activities in Russia and countries in eastern Europe," it said in a statement.

A shopping centre and a hotel were among more than 30 properties seized, mainly in the northeastern region of Catalonia and whose total value is estimated at 24 million euros (30 million dollars).

The seizures were part of "Operation Java" which this year has led to the arrests of dozens of people in Spain suspected of involvement in a Russian-Georgian crime syndicate.

Among them was the suspected Georgian head of the European branch of the gang, Kakhaber Shushanashvili, who was detained in the Catalan capital of Barcelona in March.

© 2010 AFP

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