June 19, 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
Former Trump adviser dodges lawmakers' questions on obstruction

Washington, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump's former communications director, on Wednesday avoided answering questions put to her by...

Opponents say Nicaraguan gov't reneged on pledge to free prisoners

Managua, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Members of the Nicaraguan opposition protested Wednesday outside a prison in Managua to demand that President Daniel Ortega's...

Panama's San Blas archipelago being swallowed by the sea

Maria M. Mur

Four candidates left in race for next UK leader

London, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Four candidates are left in the race to become the United Kingdom's next prime minister after Rory Stewart was eliminated from...

3 guilty over deadly attack on university in Kenya

Nairobi, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Three people suspected of being involved in a deadly attack on a university in Kenya in 2015 were found guilty on Wednesday.

4 charged with murder for Buk downing of MH17, to be tried in the Netherlands

Nieuwegein, Netherlands, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Three Russian nationals and one Ukrainian allegedly involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17...

Hong Kong police violence against extradition bill protesters denounced

Hong Kong, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- A civil rights organization coordinating demonstrations against a contentious extradition bill in Hong Kong said Wednesday...

Thousands protest in Nepal against controversial bill

Kathmandu, June 19 (efe-epa).- Thousands of protesters gathered in the Nepal capital on Wednesday demanding the government to scrap a controversial bill to...

Egypt accuses UN of politicizing Morsi's death

Cairo, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The Egyptian government accused the United Nations high commissioner for human rights of politicizing the death of Egypt's former...

More than 70 million people displaced worldwide, UN report says

Geneva (Switzerland), Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Almost 71 million people, the largest number ever quantified in the United Nations' refugee agency's history and...

UN experts call on Cambodian gov't to end oppression of political opponents

Bangkok Desk, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- United Nations special rapporteurs called on the Cambodian government Wednesday to end moves to intimidate or silence...

What to know about Libra cryptocurrency

New York (USA), Jun 19 (efe-epa).-Facebook just disclosed the first details of its long-anticipated cryptocurrency, called Libra, according to a Dow Jones...

10 years after Spanish missionary's death, his legacy in India lives on

By NoemĂ­ Jabois

Human rights groups demand ASEAN states protect Rohingya refugees

Bangkok, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Human rights groups on Wednesday demanded Southeast Asian governments protect the rights of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim community...

Xi, Kim to meet, chalk up strategies against US

Jesus Centeno

China-North Korea bonhomie may be among key upshots of Xi's Pyongyang visit

Seoul, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Talks on international sanctions, resumption of nuclear dialog, delivering humanitarian aid and displaying China-North Korea...

Xi, Trump hold telephone conversation ahead of G20 Summit

Beijing, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The presidents of China and the United States held a telephone conversation about the ongoing tariff dispute between the two...

Trump launches his re-election campaign at Orlando rally

Washington DC, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Tuesday called on his supporters to deliver a metaphorical "earthquake" at the...

At least 21 people injured after earthquake hits northwestern Japan

(Update 1: updates number of injured, adds details)

Kate del Castillo gives voice to Ciudad Juarez victims in New York theater

By Nora Quintanilla

Pence thanks Latin America for generosity in supporting Venezuela's freedom

Miami, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday renewed the "firm" commitment of the Donald Trump administration to Venezuela's "legitimate"...

Trump: Shanahan withdraws as defense secretary nominee

Washington, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan decided to withdraw from the process to...

OAS rejects claims of election fraud in Guatemala

Guatemala City, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- The head of the electoral mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) for Guatemala rejected Tuesday the...

HRW: Dominican women being denied sexual, reproductive rights

Santo Domingo, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Teenage girls in the Dominican Republic are being denied their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe...

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