Policia Nacional Bust Malaga Prison Extortion Ring

Image Source: Subdelegacion Malaga

POLICIA NACIONAL has arrested 10 people as part of an operation targeting an extortion ring among prisoners at a Malaga prison.

Operation Ochavada concluded with the arrest of ten suspects based outside Malaga II Penitentiary Centre in Archidona, located some 50km north of Andalusia’s second city. They are accused of operating a complex system of extortion against inmates, and 17 prisoners are also under investigation for their involvement in the ring.

The operation was launched after the mother of an inmate reported to police that she had been forced to pay 3000 euro across 30 installments in order to protect her son. Policia Nacional says that a “gabela” system, named after tribute paid to Medieval lords, had emerged in the prison. “This involves the acquisition of debts to other prisoners for the purchase of goods inside the prison”, the force said in a statement.

Members of the extortion ring would offer small loans to inmates, apply extremely high-interest rates, and threaten them and their families until the debt is paid. Victims of the scheme would ask their families to wire money to the extortionists through cash-transfer companies.

Among the 27 individuals facing investigation or charges, most are also inmates of the families of inmates who targetted their fellow prisoners and their loved ones.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...