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11 arrested in Barcelona and Costa Brava for allegedly laundering 10m EUR

The Catalan Police Force ‘Mossos d’Esquadra’, together with the Spanish Police arrested 11 people this Tuesday during an operation against money laundering in Barcelona and the Costa Brava. According to the public prosecutor’s office, ‘Operation Variola’ is aimed at a group of Russian and Ukrainian citizens who have allegedly laundered at least 10m EUR through setting up or buying companies. The individuals arrested allegedly used these businesses to incorporate the earnings they obtained through illegal activities and then used the money to buy properties. Sixteen searches have been carried out, one of the most remarkable was that of ‘Yubari’, an exclusive Japanese restaurant located in the Catalan capital which is a regular hangout of several celebrities.

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12 July 2016 07:01 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- Eleven people have been arrested this Tuesday in Barcelona and the Costa Brava as part of the so-called ‘Operation Variola’, carried out jointly by the Catalan Police Force ‘Mossos d’Esquadra’ and the Spanish Police. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the operation is aimed at a group of Russian and Ukrainian citizens who have allegedly laundered at least 10m EUR through setting up or buying companies. More than 15 searches have been carried out, one of the most remarkable in ‘Yubari’, an exclusive Japanese restaurant located in the Catalan capital which is a regular hangout of several celebrities. The individuals arrested allegedly used this and other businesses to relocate the earnings they obtained through illegal activities and then used the money to buy properties. 


The owner of the restaurant, Arman Mayilyan was arrested, together with other members of his family who work in the restaurant. A house in S’Agaró, in Girona province, has also been searched.

Besides the 16 searches carried out, Barcelona’s number 21 magistrate’s court ordered the freezing of numerous bank accounts, as well as the seizure of furniture and properties.

In particular, ‘operation Variola’ looks into alleged criminal organisations, money laundering and counterfeiting of social, commercial and fiscal documents. According to the public prosecutor’s office, those arrested created a network of companies, using dummies, to allocate the earnings they obtained through illegal activities, coming from businesses set up in Cyprus and the Virgin Islands.

Once the illegal money was added to the new companies, they bought properties throughout Spain. The public prosecutor’s office has detected the investment of more than 10m EUR through this procedure.

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  • Spanish Police carrying out a search as part of the 'Operation Variola' against money laundering (by ACN)

  • Spanish Police carrying out a search as part of the 'Operation Variola' against money laundering (by ACN)