Police seize €14 million in assets and make 34 arrests in money laundering crackdown
In a major victory against money laundering stemming from drug trafficking, the Guardia Civil has apprehended 34 suspects and seized assets valued at over €14 million. The operation, part of the Praesleon initiative, unfolded this morning (Saturday, November 25th), culminating a comprehensive two-year investigation focusing on the regions of Malaga, Cadiz, Almeria, and Cantabria.
The arrested individuals were primarily affiliated with two drug trafficking groups operating in Campo de Gibraltar, with ties to the infamous Castañas clan. The investigation also extended its focus to six legal entities and three commercial companies associated with the criminal activities.
The seized assets include 40 properties, 42 vehicles, 54 bank accounts, three boats, two gyms, a beauty salon, a clothing store, 40 pieces of jewellery and watches, €190,000 in cash, weapons, and other equipment.
The 23 searches conducted during the operation spanned La Linea de la Concepcion and Algeciras in Cadiz, Marbella in Malaga, Almeria, and Torrelavega in Cantabria.
The investigation revealed a complex network employed by the criminal organization for laundering drug money. Methods included real estate investments, vehicle and boat purchases, and acquiring winning lottery tickets from third parties. The laundered funds were then channelled into bank accounts to finance various ventures, such as gyms, taxi licenses, beauty salons, and maritime fishing enterprises.
The Guardia Civil meticulously reconstructed nearly 100 transactions involving the laundering of drug money, integrating it into the legal financial and commercial system.
The operation was spearheaded by the Special Anti-Drug Section of the Algeciras Area Prosecutor’s Office, with implementation by the Guardia Civil Commands of Malaga, Algeciras, Almeria, and Cantabria. Crucial support was provided by the Rapid Action Group (GAR).
This high-profile operation underlines the Guardia Civil's unwavering commitment to combatting drug-related crimes and dismantling criminal networks involved in money laundering.
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