By John Ensor •
Published: 22 Sep 2023 • 17:02
One of the 197 criminals being arrested.
In a significant operation, Europol has backed the National Police of Spain in 29 thorough investigations.
A report published on Friday, September 22 gave details of how the National Police, ably supported by various EU and non-EU nations led a massive crackdown on the criminal community. The investigations were co-funded by EU financial mechanisms and aimed at several criminal networks involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, and corruption.
Europol and the National Police of Spain, along with partners from other member states, conducted these operations. They were in alignment with the EU Security Union Strategy, focusing on creating a secure environment and combating evolving threats.
The strategy aims to protect the public from terrorism and organised crime, fostering a robust European security ecosystem.
The collaborative efforts resulted in the arrest of 197 individuals from 34 different nationalities, suspected of being part of criminal organisations. Among them were 33 fugitives and six high-ranking members of criminal networks.
The operations led to 114 house searches and substantial seizures, including nearly five tonnes of cocaine, over three tonnes of cannabis, and 1.7 tonnes of heroin. Additionally, 53 kilograms of synthetic drugs, 28 firearms, 57 vehicles, and more than €4 million in cash were confiscated.
The operations received co-financing from the European Union, supporting member states in combating significant criminal threats. ‘The actions conducted within this framework have received co-financing from the European Union as part of the support provided to EU Member States in combating criminal networks posing the most significant threats to the safety and security of EU citizens and the EU as a whole.’
Europol, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, plays a crucial role in supporting the 27 EU Member States. It fights against terrorism, cybercrime, and other serious and organised forms of crime. The agency also collaborates with several non-EU partner states and international organisations.
These operations, co-funded by the EU and supported by Europol, targeted large criminal networks. They aimed at those using corruption and violence, capable of importing large quantities of drugs, and posing a serious threat to EU security.
Europol facilitated information exchange and provided operational coordination and analytical support, including field support during action days.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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