Police arrested 82 people from over 20 provinces and recovered 58 high-end vehicles in a macro-operation against illicit vehicle trafficking.
The criminals were organised from 6 different areas in Spain. They each had their own structure but interacted as part of the overall operation. These main areas were in Alicante, Almería, Jaén, Madrid, Murcia and Tarragona.
Falsified sales documentation
The organisation created companies all over Spain and used them to rent or lease vehicles. They then allegedly falsified the sales documentation and moved the vehicles within Spain and Europe to be sold on.
According to the Policia Nacional, it is estimated that the fraud amounts to more than €10,000,000. Furthermore, those arrested are accused, among other crimes, of belonging to a criminal organisation, fraud, concealment of assets, false documents, extortion, and money laundering.
Forged driving license
As reported by Europa Press, the investigation began in February 2021. At that time a Romanian person was stopped at the Slovenian border and was found to be carrying a forged driving license. The vehicle had been rented to a Barcelona-based company in Murcia.
Not long after this event, another person was caught at the same border with fake documents. This time, the car had been rented in Murcia and delivered to another company based in Almeria.
It was therefore suspicious that two seemingly unrelated companies based in different areas had hired vehicles in Murcia, and that both ended up at the Slovenian border. In each case, the drivers had forged documentation.
As reported by Spain Today, the police also discovered the two people who were driving the vehicles had entered Spain by plane days before with a one-way ticket. Furthermore, it was not the first time they had done so.
Consequently, the first arrests were made for the crimes of fraud and false documents. The subsequent investigation into vehicle trafficking was launched, and 82 arrests have since been made.
Also read: Two criminal organisations busted