THREE of the accused ringleaders of a network that allegedly laudered some €100 million to China were sent to prison.
The remainder of the gang of 23 people, of various nationalities, were released on bail.
The National Police in Alicante and Spain’s Customs Enforcement officials from the Tax Office dealt a major blow against one of the most powerful criminal tax evasion networks, who also operated extortion operations throughout the province of Alicante, with the swathe of arrests, police said.
This followed months of surveillance work on the part of the authorities.
The primary base of the mafia style group was an employer in Petrer, who allegedly organized the collection and laundering of black and extorted monies from Chinese businesses operating throughout the Alicante region.
The scheme used several companies to make deposits in bank accounts in Hong Kong, mainly from the benefits obtained in undeclared Chinese businesses based in Alicante.
The illegal dealings began to unravel when police discovered that one of those involved had allegedly hired two Romanians and an Algerian to abduct and beat up one of his aides.
The police moved in and arrests took place in Alicante, Benidorm, Elche and in Murcia and Petrer.
As is often the case with large criminal organizations, it was the in fighting that helped the police break the case. The ‘war’ between factions within the criminal organization became apparent to investigating officers who were then lead to the entire network being arrested.
More arrests may follow, as police in various raids sized hard drives from computers, which they believe will contain more information on the scale of the gang’s activities.
The apparent aide who was attacked was a Mexican living in Cartagena, who upset other members of his gang, resulting in a ‘warning’ which left him in hospital in Murcia, having been attacked with an iron bar.
He suffered a broken cheekbone.