Two suspected members of a criminal organisation arming criminal organisations across the world have been arrested in Spain with Europol’s support.
The two suspects were arrested at their homes in Barcelona and El Masnou on 20 April. Seven other members of the same criminal organisation had already been arrested in November 2020. The analysis of the evidence gathered then during the house searches led to the identification of the suspects arrested in the province of Barcelona this week.
Fuelling conflict zones
The criminal syndicate, operating mostly from Spain, was under investigation since 2018. They illegally transported weapons and explosives across the Mediterranean to conflict zones subject to international embargoes in North Africa and the Middle East. Their illegal cargo included heavy armaments, such as tanks, and explosive precursors used by terrorists to manufacture improvised explosive devices.
The criminal proceeds were then injected into the legal economy through different money laundering schemes, before being sent to Spain where the criminals invested in real estate and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle.