Guardia Civil break up gang stealing valuable church antiques

Teulada-Moraira Lions appoint a new President every July. Image: Philip Butterwoth and Janet Dane, Teulada-Moraira Lions

FOLLOWING an investigation which started in January 2016, the Guardia Civil has broken a gang which was involved in the theft, alteration and sale of valuable church antiques and has arrested four people.

The first breakthrough in the investigation came when officers discovered a large wood carving Dolorosa Madonna (Mother of Sorrows) in Cantabria and after analysing the statue they were convinced that despite some recent subtle changes, it was an 18th century piece which had been stolen in 2015 from the parish of San Martin de Tours Obispo, Quintanilla in the town of Monte Rioja.

The investigation led officers to the provinces of Alicante, where they arrested one person and Zaragoza, where they arrested a further three as well as searching two houses which revealed a number of church antiques which had been reported as being stolen.

In all, nearly 200 pieces were recovered in this operation which is considered to have been one of the most important investigations into the left of church artefacts for some considerable time, especially as the thieves had damaged some of the pieces in order to try to disguise their origin.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Share your story with us by emailing [email protected], by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews

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