Some of the recovered equipment. / CNP

Police smash gang who stole luxury cars on the Costa del Sol and sold them to drug traffickers

The organisation is believed to have stolen 52 vehicles, valued at over 3,000,000 euros, after driving around well-known residential developments between Nerja and Estepona on reconnaissance missions

RAQUEL MERINO Malaga

National Police officers in Malaga have broken up a gang which is accused of stealing luxury cars and then selling them to drug traffickers in the Campo de Gibraltar area. Four men aged between 44 and 50 have been arrested for robbery with the use of force, forging documents and being part of a criminal organisation.

They specialised in circumventing the security systems of the main makes of car through the use of sophisticated technology. Searches of homes in Vélez-Málaga and Estepona revealed frequency inhibitors, key duplication systems, radio frequency detectors, emergency ignitions, blank keys, lock extractors and garage door remote controls, among other items.

The organisation is believed to have stolen 52 cars on the Costa del Sol, valued at over 3,000,000 euros. Four of them have been recovered and returned to their owners.

Police said the gang would drive around well-known residential developments between Nerja and Estepona on reconnaissance missions. They worked in groups of three and always at night. They stole cars parked on the street and in community and private garages.

They used remote controls and frequency sensors to open the garage doors, and after disabling the alarms they would get into the vehicles using turbodecoder keys and corkscrew and lock-picking methods, start the vehicle with the cloned keys and override the geolocation devices.

Sold to drug traffickers

The stolen vehicles, which were mainly powerful 4x4s, are believed to have been purchased by drug traffickers in the Campo de Gibraltar area (Cadiz) within 24 to 48 hours, at a price of up to 6,000 euros each.

Two of those arrested carried Bulgarian ID cards which bore evident signs of having been forged. The police say they had been using the same documents to rent properties and cars on the Costa del Sol