Joint Eurojust/Europol press announcement
On 28 October, in Valencia and Alicante, the Guardia Civil and Belgian Federal Police arrested two Bulgarian nationals, and seized cash, mobile telephones and documents. The suspects are alleged senior members of an organised crime group (OCG) involved in the theft of seven luxury vehicles from Italy, the removal of vehicle identification numbers (VIN), and the creation of falsified documents and falsified Bulgarian number plates. The vehicles, with a resale value of EUR 500 000, were then sold in Belgium and Spain.
In the first phase of the operation, in May 2013, one Bulgarian national was arrested in Belgium for participation in the OCG. In May 2014, the Guardia Civil of Valencia, the Belgian Federal Police and the Bulgarian Federal Police, in cooperation with Eurojust and Europol, conducted a second phase of the investigation, Operation BOBO-ALOIXAT. The OCG was active Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.
Searches were ordered by the Court of Instruction no 3 of Denia, Spain, and the Chief Judge of the Court of First Instance of Liège, Belgium. Formal inquiries into the operation of the OCG are ongoing in Spain and Belgium.
Mr Francisco Jiménez-Villarejo, Vice-President of Eurojust and National Member for Spain, commented after last week’s operation: ‘Thanks to the combined efforts of the Guardia Civil, the Belgian Federal Police, the Bulgarian Federal Police, Eurojust and Europol, this OCG has been dismantled. Cases such as this one demonstrate the excellent results that can be achieved in fighting organised cross-border crime through cooperation and coordination.’
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