September 18, 2019
Latest News

EU police busts dangerous organized crime gang behind $760 million operation

 Civil Guard and National Police image shows the operation, Madrid, Spain, May 15, 2019. EFE

Civil Guard and National Police image shows the operation, Madrid, Spain, May 15, 2019. EFE

Madrid, May 22 (efe-epa).- Police have busted a highly professional and dangerous international organized crime gang, raided 40 properties and arrested 22 suspected members including the ring-leader in a massive operation spanning five countries, the European Union's police agency said Wednesday.

The operation, code-named "Icebreaker," broke up the gang, which is thought to have amassed an estimated 680 million euros ($760 million) in ill-gotten gains through assassinations, money laundering as well as drug and cigarette trafficking between 2016-2019, Europol said.

"Searches took place, resulting in the seizure of 8 million euros in cash, diamonds, gold bars, jewelry and luxury vehicles, as well as the discovery of hidden compartments used to smuggle drugs and psychotropic substances," a statement said.

The raids took place in the early hours of May 15-16 during which time police supported by Europol and Eurojust arrested the alleged gang leader, a 48-year-old Lithuanian national, in Huelva, southwest Spain.

Police described the operation as the largest of its kind to date in Europe, with over 450 police and customs officers deployed in Poland, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Spain.

"A substantial quantity of illicit cigarettes was also seized," police added.

"This criminal group would traffic drugs and cigarettes into the UK, before smuggling the illegally obtained cash to Poland by different means," the police statement said. "The money was then laundered via currency exchange offices and subsequently invested in real estate in Spain and other countries."

The suspected criminals also employed counter-intelligence technology to evade law enforcement organizations.

In what Europol described as an unprecedented collaboration between police and justice departments, the Joint Operational Task Force involved the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau, the British HM Revenue and Customs, the Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigation, the Estonian Central Criminal Police under the Police and Border Guard Board and the Spanish Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional.

Three Europol experts were deployed to Lithuania and Poland to provide tailor-made operational support while police officers from Lithuania, Spain and Poland were aided by a system that enabled real-time exchanges of information between their national authorities.

A swift analysis of data collected during the operation also permitted the officers to adjust their strategy on the ground as required.EFE-EPA

jt/hh

News history
28 children die in Liberia school fire

Monrovia, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- At least 28 children have died in Liberia in a fire in a boarding school in a suburb on the outskirts of the capital Monrovia.

Trump steps up sanctions on Iran after oil attacks

Washington, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States said Wednesday he has ordered a significant increase in sanctions against Iran, a move...

Indian students and activists take part in an anti-tobacco campaign rally

New Delhi, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The government of India on Wednesday announced a blanket ban on electronic-cigarettes, citing health risks to users,...

At least 10 injured as militants attack government office in Afghanistan

Kabul, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- At least 10 people were injured on Wednesday in a suicide bomb and gun attack targeting a government office complex in the city of...

Trump, Rouhani, Bolsonaro to be UN's main protagonists, many missing

By Mario Villar

Hong Kong protests creating chasm between residents and police

By Shirley Lau.

Spain's politicians unofficially enter campaign mode as repeat vote looms

Madrid, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- Spanish lawmakers on Wednesday unofficially began campaigning for looming repeat elections in a lively prime minister's questions...

Juncker: Possible no-deal Brexit remains 'palpable'

Strasbourg, France, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The risk of a no-deal Brexit remains "palpable," the EU commission's president Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs Wednesday.

Alleged Chinese cyber-attacks cast shadow over Australian politics

By Rocio Otoya

Freed Venezuelan lawmaker calls for release of all political prisoners

Caracas, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- The deputy speaker of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parliament, who was released on Tuesday after spending more than 130...

Netanyahu vows to form new government

Tel Aviv, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- Israel's acting prime minister gave a speech to supporters early on Wednesday following general elections in the Middle Eastern...

Sánchez makes last call to avoid new Spanish elections

Spain will hold snap elections on 10 November, after acting PM Pedro Sánchez on Tuesday (17 September) failed to get either the support of the leftist...

Oil price falls as fears of supply shortage ebb

By Guillermo Ximenis

Pain, resignation hang over central Mexico 2 years after devastating quake

By Gabriela Garcia Guzman

Spain's king names no premier candidate, opening way to new elections

Madrid, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Spain's King Felipe VI on Tuesday did not name a candidate to form a new government after his round of contacts with political...

Greta Thunberg, activists urge Congress to act on climate change

Washington, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, along with a group of indigenous leaders, on Tuesday demanded...

Saïed, Karoui will face off in 2nd round of presidential elections in Tunisia

Tunis, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Conservative jurist Kaïes Saïed and media magnate Nabil Karoui will face off in a runoff election in Tunisia, according to the...

Amazon deforestation driven by mafia networks, NGO warns

Sao Paolo, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is driven by violent mafia networks which the Jair Bolsonaro government has fueled by...

Snowden's memoirs: A call to protect privacy in a digital age

By Lucia Leal

Spanish King's brother-in-law to leave prison twice a week for charity work

Valladolid, Spain, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- The brother-in-law of Spain's King Felipe VI, Iñaki Urdangarín, who is currently serving a prison sentence for...

30,000 children at risk of abuse after Mozambique cyclones

Nairobi, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Tens of thousands of children are at risk of abuse and exploitation in Mozambique six months after the country was devastated by...

Almost 50 killed as Taliban claim twin blasts in Afghanistan

Kabul, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Two terror attacks killed at least 48 people in Afghanistan Tuesday as Taliban-claimed explosions rocked an election rally...

Former Italian PM quits Democratic Party to create new group

Rome, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Italy's former prime minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday split from the center-left Democratic Party (PD) he once led to form a new...

Lam to meet Hong Kong citizens in attempt to resolve crisis

By Shirley Lau

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.