Police raids net 61 burglary gang members

POLICE RAIDS: Recovered sums of cash, vehicles and jewellery.

Highly-skilled burglars operating out of a number of Spanish cities had links to Malaga and Alicante, police have revealed.

In an operation conducted with French police and Europol, the National Police have arrested 61 people in several Spanish provinces.

All are believed to be members of a Georgian mafia gang specialising in burglary.

Nine so-called criminal cells were found to be operating in Madrid, but each had links to separate Spanish cities.

In the latest raids, an operation dubbed Aikon II, officers recovered €33,000, eight vehicles and a number of stolen jewellery pieces.

The gang first came to the attention of police when burglaries in Madrid began to skyrocket.

A special taskforce was created to track down and catch members of the group.

They were described as skilled at breaking into domestic and commercial premises in their search for high-value items.

Eventually 50 arrests were made as part of operation Aikon I, in the Valencia Region and Madrid. Nearly 40 members were subsequently jailed.

The police operation was so successful, other regions in Spain were said to be considering adopting the model.

At first officers believed they had cracked the largest burglary gang in Spain.

But when burglary figures did not go down it was discovered new members had arrived to bolster their numbers and some were committing offences while on bail.

This led to the Aikon II operation, backed by Europol, and the latest arrests.

Police have revealed the criminal cells were controlled by a ‘supervisor’ who would often have a legal job. 

Their remit was to report back to the leaders of the group which is said to be headed from Italy, according to police.

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