Guardia Civil smash two criminal groups specialised in stealing from cashpoints across Spain using explosives

Image of items seized during Guardia Civil raids.

Image of items seized during Guardia Civil raids. Credit: Guardia Civil

As reported in a statement from the Guardia Civil this Tuesday, May 16, the force has dismantled two criminal groups that specialised in stealing from ATM cashpoints using explosives.

Those arrested – mainly based in the cities of Madrid and Malaga – are said to have also committed robberies with violence.  They allegedly pretended to be members of the security forces and used special techniques, means, and equipment.

According to the statement, the gang members were known to never hesitate to illegally detain their victims and used extreme violence in some instances.

The explosives used to commit the robberies were homemade and called ‘flasks’ by the group members. These devices were manufactured using the gunpowder of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.

Those investigated apparently acted throughout the national territory and had extensive criminal records. They are accused of 15 criminal acts in which they stole more than €600,000 in total.

A total of 14 individuals were arrested during a large operation by the Guardia Civil which included 23 simultaneous searches of properties.

These raids uncovered a large number of weapons and cartridges, GPS beacons, locksmith material for opening doors, alarm inhibitors.

Numerous National Police and Guardia Civil materials and clothing were also discovered, along with cash and false vehicle registration plates, among other effects.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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