Some of the weapons that were seized by police. Photo: CNP / Video: Atlas

Police smash two gangs linked to violent robberies and bank cash machine explosions in Malaga

Those arrested are allegedly responsible for 15 incidents across Spain in which they stole more than 600,000 euros

Juan Cano / Melchor Sáiz-Pardo

Malaga / Madrid

Friday, 19 May 2023, 18:03


Police in Spain have dismantled two gangs in Malaga and Madrid which allegedly used firecracker gunpowder to blow up ATM machines at banks to steal cash.

They are allegedly responsible for two explosions in one night in Malaga city in the La Malagueta and Teatinos areas. They seized 82,000 euros in cash from the attacks.

Guardia Civil, National Police and the Mossos d'Esquadra regional force have now dismantled the two organisations, made up of 14 members based in the Spanish capital and Malaga city. They are also allegedly responsible for 15 bank robberies throughout the country in which they pretended to be security agents, police said. In total, they stole more than 600,000 euros.

The police investigation, dubbed Operation Mozarella, started after two robberies in the early hours of 8 August in Malaga last year. In October, those arrested allegedly committed another similar robbery in Valencia where they stole 40,000 euros. Then in February, several of those investigated allegedly carried out an attempted robbery with explosives in a bank in Pinto in Madrid.

Tied up a woman

Some of the alleged crooks also took part in two violent crimes in Malaga, police said. The first occurred in early March in Vélez-Málaga, outside the victim's home. The suspects used vehicles they had previously stolen and posed as police officers - armed with guns and displaying police waistcoats and badges - to force their way into the home. They tied up a woman inside with cable ties and took her to an open field.

There, they beat her, while demanding the location of the place she kept money inside her home. They stole her documents, 1,270 euros, and keys to her home, workplace and vehicle.

Blocked his car

In mid-April, the arrested men allegedly assaulted another victim in an industrial estate in Malaga. They followed a man and assaulted him while he was driving. He had 3,430 euros inside the vehicle. They first blocked his car with two vehicles, one at the front and one at the back. Then they smashed the windows and forcibly removed him from the car before driving off with the money.

During the police operation officers carried out 23 searches in the provinces of Malaga, Toledo and Madrid. They seized a large amount of cash, guns and ammunition, GPS devices, locksmith equipment for opening doors, National Police and Guardia Civil equipment and clothing, seven vehicles, eight luxury watches and fake number plates.

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