The Spanish police, together with Europol, have detained 23 suspects in the laundering of money of the “Russian mafia” through cryptocurrencies. Eight people turned out to be Russian citizens.
According to the Spanish National Police, the investigation against the Russian mafia began in 2013. According to the police, this investigation was the largest in the country in the last ten years.
Earlier, law enforcement agencies revealed that the attackers laundered money in Spain from criminal groups from the countries of the former USSR, while trying to take control of key sectors of the Spanish economy. The profits from the sale of weapons and drugs were invested in the development of the hotel business, entertainment and real estate.
The case involves Russian businessmen who had connections with “thieves in law”, as well as with criminal Russian syndicates. In order to evade criminal prosecution and conduct their activities with impunity, the “mafiosi” paid bribes to lawyers and civil servants. The criminals also participated in charity work, gaining the trust of local authorities. Thus, the attackers managed to deploy an extensive network in the state structures of Spain.
The police said that during the searches, weapons, jewelry, 16 luxury cars, 300,000 euros in cash, cryptocurrencies, and property assets worth several million euros were seized. In total, 23 people were detained, including eight Russians, two Ukrainians, one citizen of Kazakhstan, a resident of Algeria, and all the others were Spaniards. According to the publication El País, the organizer of the criminal group may be Alexey Sirokov (probably Shirokov-ed.), who lived in the suburbs of Alicante. This neighborhood is known as the “Russian paradise”, given that it is inhabited by immigrants from the CIS and the Baltic States. All those arrested were released on bail, except for Shirokov and his trusted accomplices.
Recall that last year, Spanish law enforcement officers identified a local gang of criminals who used cryptomats to transfer money to drug dealers. In addition, this summer, 33 people were arrested in Spain who illegally sold medicines on the Internet and laundered part of the profits through cryptocurrencies.