SUR

International counterfeiter who used a face mask to evade border controls arrested in Benalmádena

Despite a European Arrest Warrant being in force in his home country, he sneaked into Spain and operated a workshop on the Costa del Sol forging documents that were distributed worldwide

IRENE QUIRANTE MALAGA.

An international counterfeiter who had been arrested in his home country of Latvia managed to enter Spain, despite a European Arrest Warrant being in force, and set up a major forgery operation on the Costa del Sol.

Described as being a key member of a criminal counterfeiting organisation, he used up to 25 identities and a realistic facial mask to circumvent biometric checks at border crossings.

From Benalmádena he operated a sophisticated workshop from which he allegedly produced manipulated documents that were distributed worldwide.

National Police officers, in a joint operation with the Latvian Police and Customs Surveillance of the Tax Agency, dismantled the workshop and arrested the suspect, the National Police said in a statement.

The workshop was fitted with all the machines and tools needed to create many types of false identity and travel documents, the statement added.

The police investigation, which began in June, discovered that the alleged counterfeiter was provided with logistical support by at least two people. An intercepted package, in which the suspect was sending a forged identity card from a third European country to France, led to his arrest.