Latin American arrested in Madrid trying to establish crime gang

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THE National Police working closely with the police forces of El Salvador and Honduras have arrested a man known as the ‘Mexican’ in the Madrid area who had been sent to Spain by an international gang known as Mara 18 to establish a new branch in Europe.

Mara 18 was first set up in the United States in the 1980s and consisted of between 25 and 50 young men initially from El Salvador and was effectively a criminal organisation which extorted protection money (known as ‘war tax’) from local businesses as well as selling arms, drugs, stolen cars and other illegal activities.

The group has now spread across Latin America and unlike the Mafia has no recognised leadership structure but has the general aim of making money from illegal activities of all types, often co-ordinated by members who are in jail.

The person arrested in Spain was carrying false documentation in the names of a number of different people and is known to be wanted in different countries around the world. Prior to being deported, the ‘Mexican’ has been hospitalised and his activities whilst in Spain are still being investigated to ensure that no Mara 18 ‘clique’ has been established.

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