Spanish police and Europol takedown Georgian crime gang

Last Friday (3rd July) almost 200 Spanish police officers, supported by Europol experts and the German Federal Criminal Police (BKA) successfully took down a Georgian ‘mafia' group active in Spain. There were 36 arrests including the group leader ‘vor v zakone' (‘thief in law') and seizure of assets including bank accounts and properties in Madrid and Valencia.

Europol deployed a mobile office to Spain to assist with real-time cross checking of the data gathered, covering money laundering, weapons trafficking, drugs and burglaries.

It was certainly ‘organised' crime with the group working in a coordinated fashion, using network members to provide the means to commit crime - supplying logistical support, tools, computers, properties and vehicles, false identity cards and narcotics. They even ran an ‘Obshchak' (common fund) into which all members contributed a percentage of their criminal earnings, plus a recurring fee for membership. The money from this communal fund was paid to arrested or imprisoned members and their families, and also used to acquire weapons and tools.

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