Wednesday, May 26, 2010

32 arrested in hit on major European crime ring

British, Irish and Spanish police launched dawn raids Tuesday in a coordinated hit aimed at smashing a major European guns, drugs and money laundering empire. 32 people were arrested, including the suspected "godfather", in a strike on a crime conspiracy with tentacles stretching across the globe. "The target was a criminal network suspected of trafficking huge quantities of drugs and firearms and of laundering hundreds of millions of pounds in criminal profits," Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) said in a statement. The gang's suspected crime lord, a 53-year-old Irish-born British national living in Malaga, was arrested in the southern Spanish coastal resort.

Spanish officers detained him along with family members, other British and Irish nationals and four Spanish lawyers. The 20 suspects arrested in Spain were being questioned in Malaga. Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, speaking to Spanish public television from Warsaw, said the raids focused on a "mafia family" based on the southern Costa del Sol. "It's an operation against well-known mafia operating in different countries which is linked to different killings, as well as a number of crimes from drugs trafficking to people trafficking." About 750 officers were involved in the operation.

In Britain around 230 officers raided homes and businesses, with nine men and two women across southeastern England and the west Midlands arrested and taken for questioning. "The scale of this joint operation by law enforcement agencies from so many countries is an indication of how prolific we think this network was," said SOCA's Trevor Pearce. "Today's arrests will have dealt a major blow to an organised criminal business suspected of supplying drugs and guns to gangs in cities across the UK and Europe.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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