Guardia Civil bust Canary Islands’ Polish criminal network that embezzled over €27M

Guardia Civil bring down Canary Islands' Polish criminal network that embezzled over €27M Credit: Guardia Civil

The criminal network bust by the Guardia Civil allegedly embezzled over €27 million in taxes in VAT fraud scams and money laundering in the Canary Islands.

The Guardia Civil, working alongside the Polish Central Bureau of Investigation (PCBI), has arrested seven Polish nationals in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain, for embezzling more than €27 million of VAT.

The detainees were wanted by their country in criminal proceedings at the Organised Crime and Corruption Department of the National Prosecutor’s Office in Szczecin. 
In order to carry out the fraud, the members of this organisation created a network of front companies which, although they had no real activity, were used to generate a large volume of false documentation and invoices with which to carry out the criminal offences under investigation. 
The operation is one of the largest economic investigations carried out to date by the PCBI, with more than 180 individuals and legal entities investigated for fraud, membership of a criminal organisation and money laundering. 
The operations were carried out simultaneously in Spain and Poland in coordination with EUROJUST and EUROPOL. In Spain, the Guardia Civil carried out four searches and arrested seven people.  In Poland, a total of ten searches and three arrests have been made to date.
The operation carried out in Spain has led to the seizure of cash, notarial, banking and corporate documentation, as well as three cryptocurrency wallets and numerous computer and telephone devices of great interest for the investigation. 
Due to the complexity of the investigation and the simultaneity of the actions, the culmination of the investigation required the direct participation of more than 80 agents from the different specialities of the Guardia Civil and the participating international agencies. 
The Information Headquarters of the Guardia Civil (UCE-3) and the Information Group of the Las Palmas Command have located those under investigation, with the collaboration of EUROJUST and the Prosecutor’s Office for International Cooperation of Las Palmas.
The detainees are at the disposal of the Audiencia Nacional, for the opening of the corresponding procedure of surrender to the Polish judicial authorities. 

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at