Spain: Police Dismantle 2 Russian Criminal Gangs; Arrest 11 for Money Laundering

Spanish police said Wednesday they dismantled two Russian criminal organizations and arrested 11 in connection with laundering more than €30 million (US$35 million).

256px-Puerto Banús MarbellaMarbella, Spain (Photo: Lolo, CC BY-SA 2.0)The operation was conducted in the province of Malaga in cooperation with Europol, a statement by the Guardia Civil said.

Among the detained are Marbella Football Club’s President, Alexander Grinberg, and Arnold Tamm, a close associate of Semion Mogilevich, who has been on the FBI’s most wanted list since 2009 for a multi-million dollar fraud scam.

The statement claims that the criminals are members of two Russian gangs that established themselves in Spain and are suspected of having used Marbella FC, a water bottling company and a golf course in Malaga to launder over US$ 35 million.

Grinberg allegedly used the institutions as a “business card” to access political positions and entrepreneurs in the area to facilitate their activities.

After investigating the gangs for four years, police this week raided 18 properties in Malaga seizing large amounts of cash, 23 high-end vehicles, and various firearms among other items.

Those arrested will appear in court on Friday.

Costa Del Sol, in southern Spain which includes the city of Malaga has long been a hotspot of foreign capital and organized crime. Last month, Spanish police dismantled an international criminal network that used commercial flights to smuggle Iranian citizens into the UK arresting the majority of over 100 individuals in Malaga.