The Spanish police uncovered a large Eurasian criminal network, arresting 129 members of the Armenian-Georgian criminal group in one of the largest operations against organized crime in the history.
Operation Kus, conducted in the last week of June, completed a two-and-a-half-year investigation. This led to the arrest of 129 people across Spain and France, most of whom were Armenians.
“This group of Armenian criminals that was caught is now simply the largest and most dangerous group in Europe,” said Pedro Felicio, head of the economic and property crime Department in Europol, at a press conference.
During the operation, the Spanish police raided more than 70 sites in several Spanish cities, with the support of Europol, Interpol and law enforcement agencies in France and Georgia.
Authorities seized weapons, vehicles, jewelry, illegal cigarettes, marijuana plants, bulletproof vests, and about $ 120,000 in cash.
The organized crime network is reported to be involved in a wide range of illegal activities, including drug and arms trafficking, money laundering, home theft, extortion, fraud and corruption.
The police said the group was involved in the smuggling of tobacco in Ukraine and Poland and was distributing it throughout Europe. It was also assumed that they are involved in corruption bribery in sports. Investigators say about basketball, beach volleyball and hockey .
Paul Stanfield, Director of organized and emerging crime at Interpol, stressed the need for coordinated international approaches to combating organized crime. “These criminal networks have nothing to do with national borders as they seek to profit from their illegal activities,” he said in a statement .