The National Police has successfully taken down a criminal group of Bulgarian origin that was involved in stealing vehicles abroad and then selling them on the national market as second-hand after falsifying their identifying elements. The operation led to the arrest of seven individuals, including the leaders of the organization who were of Bulgarian nationality. Vehicle inspections were carried out in Madrid and Catalonia, resulting in the seizure of ten vehicles valued at around 350,000 euros. The arrested individuals were making between 30,000 and 40,000 euros for each vehicle sold on the second-hand market.
The investigation began in December when the agents received information from the Interior Attaché of the Bulgarian Embassy in Spain. The embassy reported the existence of stolen vehicles from Bulgaria in the Spanish vehicle fleet, even though their origin seemed legal. The criminal organization’s modus operandi involved stealing new upper-mid-range vehicles in Bulgaria using sophisticated technological tools that allowed them to seize practically any car in less than a minute. They then manipulated all identifying elements such as the chassis number, manufacturer’s labels, and digital records of the vehicle. Additionally, they prepared false vehicle documentation using original documentary supports stolen in other countries such as Austria, on which false data was recorded. Once the vehicles had a new identity, they were registered again in Bulgaria as if they were cars exported from a third country and then transferred to Spain.
In Spain, the criminal organization had a logistics branch responsible for registering vehicles and introducing them into the Spanish market as used vehicles. According to the Police, some of the cars were sought after by other criminal organizations due to the high quality of their counterfeits, which made it difficult to identify the stolen vehicles except through a police investigation.
The successful dismantling of this criminal group is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the National Police in combating organized crime. The swift action taken by the authorities has resulted in the prevention of further criminal activities and the recovery of stolen vehicles. It also serves as a warning to other criminal organizations involved in similar activities that law enforcement agencies are committed to ensuring the safety and security of the public. The collaboration between the National Police and international partners, such as the Interior Attaché of the Bulgarian Embassy in Spain, highlights the importance of cooperation in tackling transnational crime. This operation sends a clear message that criminal activities will not go unpunished and that law enforcement agencies will continue to work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice.
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World, Automotive, Crime