Judge Baltasar Garzón launches operation against the Russian Mafia in Spain
The national police and Spanish Civil Guard have carried out an extensive operation against the Russian mafia in Spain. The High Court judge Baltasar Garzón has ordered 25 arrest warrants. So far at least 18 arrests have taken place, principally in the Costa del Sol, according to sources close to the investigation. Other arrests have also taken place in the provinces of Alicante, Malaga, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands. The operation is a result of a coordinated effort between the anticorruption prosecution unit and the High Court judge Baltasar Garzón.
More than 400 police and secret service agents have participated in the operation called Troika, which has also been helped by the collaboration of the intelligence services belonging to other countries such as Switzerland, Germany and the US.
It is believed that amongst other activities the Russian mafia in Spain laundered money, traded in arms and ordered assassinations.
Garzón has discovered more than 500 bank accounts used by the network to launder millions of euros every year in tax havens.
Amongst the 18 people already arrested there are at least 4 leading members of the mafia who were resident in Alicante, Marbella and Nerja. The rapid action of the police meant that all those arrested had no time to react against the operation which was carried out in several locations simultaneously.
As well as the 25 arrest warrants several businesses and luxurious residences where the presumed leading members of the mafia and their families lived in locations such as Palma de Mallorca, Calviá, Nerja, Málaga and Madrid are currently being searched by the police.
The operation which has taken place today against the Russian mafia in Spain has taken years of careful planning.
Several countries have already asked for some of those detained in operation Troika to be sent back so that they can be prosecuted there. In the next few hours Garzón will travel to different parts of the country where the arrests have taken place.