Catalan Police help break up a ring of international criminals
Catalan Police assisted the investigation of an international criminal ring this week. The criminals were involved in money laundering and the financing of cannabis plantations. It is estimated that the group could have spent about 3 million buying properties in Catalonia’s Costa Brava.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Police took part in a successful international operation this week to prevent the sale of equipment used for growing cannabis and money laundering. 27 searches were carried out in several European countries this week, including Catalonia and authorities have since discovered that the group could have extracted about three million from the drug trade through the purchase of real estate in the Costa Brava.
It all relates back to September 2009 when Dutch police began investigating a company that grew marijuana in the town of Wijchen after they detected large flows of capital and suspicious financing sources.
More than 250 police officers have been involved in the police operation that is taking place in Holland this Tuesday. Among them are members of the Catalan Police Force.
In Catalonia, two searches have been being carried out in Calonge (Baix Empordà) at the homes of suspected ring leaders and many properties have been sealed off. Police also have information on the gang's involvement in money laundering for products like jewelry, luxury vehicles including a Bentley Continental valued at 180,000 euros.
The same searches are being carried out simultaneously in Belgium, Aruba and Catalonia and the top three alleged leaders of the criminal organisation have already been arrested.
Although in the Netherlands to manage a company that carries out the cultivation of marijuana is not a crime, researchers have proves of various other illegal actions of the group like the setting up of illegal establishments in the village of Wijchen. They are accused of crimes for money laundering and the possession of false documents as well as the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis from 2002 to 2008.
The group is also accused of a committing a crime against public health for having financed the cultivation of large plantations of cannabis in various parts of Europe for the last few years. They are accused as well for having supplied the necessary materials for cannabis cultivation and for having been involved in organised crime for the illegal cultivation of cannabis.