€1 Million Vehicle Trafficking Ring Dismantled In Spain

Police Uncover Huge Car Trafficking Scam In Spain

Credit: Policia Nacional/Twitter.com

A multi-national police operation has uncovered a massive car trafficking ring in which cars were misappropriated in Spain and later sold throughout Europe.

A report published on Thursday, August 24, by Policia Nacional, in collaboration with the Romanian Police, made a significant breakthrough in Spain. They arrested 21 individuals and recovered 24 high-end vehicles, putting an end to a major illicit vehicle trafficking operation. The operation saw vehicles misappropriated in Spain, their documents falsified, and then fraudulently sold in countries including Romania, France, Germany, and Portugal.

The Modus Operandi

The organisation’s method involved purchasing vehicles from both companies and individuals through financing, using ‘mules’ or individuals specifically for this purpose. As their operations became more sophisticated, they began establishing fictitious companies to obtain financing for fleets of vehicles, some of them luxury models. This was a tactic to sidestep the fraud detection systems of financial institutions.

Once these vehicles were under their control, the necessary documents were falsified. They were then transported to countries such as Romania, France, Germany, and Portugal, where unsuspecting buyers purchased them.

This operation caused dual harm: firstly, to the financial institutions left unpaid, and secondly, to the buyers who unknowingly acquired vehicles with an illegal provenance.

Organisation’s Structure

The criminal network was meticulously organised into five distinct roles. Firstly, there were the recruiters responsible for finding the “mules” who would purchase the vehicles either under their own names or those of fictitious companies.

The second group was tasked with falsifying the vehicle and company documentation. Additionally, the organisation had drivers familiar with the back roads between Spain and Romania, allowing them to avoid major checkpoints. Lastly, sellers in Romania would receive the cars, register them with the counterfeit documentation, and then sell them on.

In the initial phase, after months of collaboration between the Spanish and Romanian Police, 13 members were arrested in Spain – in locations such as Barcelona, Lérida, and Madrid. This was followed by the arrest of seven more members in Romania, with four of them being held in custody.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.