Posted on: February 22, 2022, 09:35h.
Last updated on: February 22, 2022, 09:35h.
Police in Spain have dismantled a criminal organization operating out of the island Palma de Mallorca. The group’s activity was so complex that it required assistance from the US and Italy.
An operation against money laundering came to a close last week in Mallorca and Belgium simultaneously. Troops with the Spanish National Police, the Civil Guard and Europol descended on various locations and arrested at least a dozen locally, according to local media outlet Majorca Daily Bulletin. The arrests were the result of the individuals’ involvement in laundering drug money, as well as for offering illegal gambling.
The Fruits of a Two-Year Investigation
The investigation began about two years ago in Mallorca after two anti-drug actions by the National Police and Civil Guard. The money trail led to Belgium, where police led additional drug trafficking and money laundering raids.
The investigation uncovered involvement from Kosovo Albanians, Russians, Swedes and Germans. These investigations converged in the so-called “Operation Casino” that hit all of the countries. In total, police arrested over 42 people in all of the countries, with more than 600 officers participating in the raids.
The investigations culminated in the raids a week ago. The searches and arrests have taken place in buildings on the boardwalk of Palma de Mallorca, in the region of sa Llotja and at industrial buildings of Can Valero. The raids extended to the areas of Calvià and Andratx.
The Civil Guard Command was the control center for the coordination of the attacks and the movements of the numerous troops. The FBI, the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Italy’s Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate participated, as well.
One of the targets of the joint police action was the famous Ritzi restaurant in Puerto Portals. Early on the morning of February 15, police entered the property and arrested its owner. The same happened at a hotel of the same name and a restaurant located there in sa Llotja.
Drugs, Prostitution and Gambling
Investigators point out that all of the subjects were part of one of the “most important drug trafficking organizations” in Europe. It targeted the distribution of cocaine throughout the continent. They also controlled a prostitution ring, as well as illegal casinos.
The latter was the basis for the name given the operation. However, no information was available regarding where the casinos operated.
The agents of the National Police, accompanied by members of the Civil Guard, used a dog specialized in the detection of hidden objects to search the offices of this hotel and restaurant.
All the detainees in Palma de Mallorca were taken to the Command of the Civil Guard of the Balearic Islands. There, in the facility’s jail, they remain, with a judge to determine their fate.
A court in Palma also closely coordinated the police action. A court clerk was present while the police carried out numerous searches in establishments and buildings.