Trio Took €4.5m In Hotel Thefts

Trio Arrested After Hotel Thefts

Police recover stolen items.: Credit:

A trio has been apprehended for orchestrating robberies at luxury hotel complexes in Cadiz and Paris.

The culprits, arrested by the Guardia Civil and French National Police with EUROPOL’s assistance, are linked to 12 heists in Spain and France, amassing loot valued at €4.5 million.

Operation ‘Ebano Azul’

The operation, dubbed ‘Ebano Azul’, was launched in August last year. It was initiated following a series of robberies in luxury apartments in Chiclana de la Frontera, Cadiz, where one suspect was captured. The leader, operating under nine aliases across Europe, was later identified.

The criminals were highly skilled in cracking security safes. They meticulously surveyed their target, ensuring the absence of occupants, and infiltrated using counterfeit keys or the ‘slip’ method. Once inside, they discreetly emptied the safes of valuables and cash, exiting unnoticed.

International Investigation And Arrests

The investigation focused on an itinerant international criminal group based in Marbella, Spain. A French gang member was arrested, and a search at a luxury villa yielded stolen goods, false documents, and mobile phones. This led to the full identification of the group’s Algerian leader, a legal resident in France, using multiple false identities.

Recognising the group’s diverse nationalities, European authorities were enlisted for assistance. A joint investigation between Spain and France was initiated, with EUROPOL helping with the exchange of information. The collaboration resulted in the arrest of the remaining two members near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, following another successful heist.

Recovery Of Stolen Items

The loot, including jewellery, silver items, and luxury bags valued at €450,000, was recovered and returned to the rightful owners. The group is also linked to robberies in Cannes and Paris, with stolen goods valued at half a million and one million euros respectively, all of which employed the gang’s signature modus operandi.

Following a judicial hearing in Paris, the two detainees were imprisoned, awaiting extradition to Spain. The operation was overseen by the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil of Cadiz and the Banditism Repression Brigade of the district of Paris, under the supervision of the Court of Instruction No. 2 of Chiclana.

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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.