The Spanish Civil Guard and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) carried out an operation against the long-established criminal organisation in Madrid, leading to four arrests and the seizure of jewellry, luxury objects, firearms, ammunition and high-end vehicles.

The arrests follow a two-year long operation launched when the Civil Guard became aware of a possible cirminal organsiation in Madrid sending large amounts of cash to drug cartels in Colombia and Peru.

Europol said ‘front men’ acquired luxury goods as part of a scheme that traded high-end cars and used ‘smurfing’ techniques to place criminal profits into the financial system.

Members also acted as a “collection office” for the cartels, using a network of hitmen to collect cash from other groups throughout Spain dedicated to drugs trafficking.

The four people, who were of Spanish, Colombian and Venezuelan nationalities, were arrested in different parts of Madrid. Seven other people were indicted along with one legal entity.

Three house searches were carried out where a high number of valuables such as jewelry, luxury watches, footwear and top brand clothing, cash and high-end vehicles were seized. Seven firearms, some of which had been modified and their serial numbers altered, were also seized along with ammunition.