• Spain's news in English
 

Spanish police raid Majorca's German mafia

Published: 24 Jul 2013 11:46 GMT+02:00

Some 200 police and Civil Guard officers made 25 arrests in 31 raids in an operation directed by Spain's National High Court.

The raids led to the arrest of the most important Hells Angels figures in Europe, 49-year-old German Frank Armin Hanebuth.

Hanebuth — considered by German police to be one of that country's most dangerous men according to Focus news magazine— was shacked up in a €2.5 million ($3.3 million) villa in Lloret de Vistalegre when he was taken into custody.

Police said he controlled the group's activities from the expensive home. 

The Hells Angels planned to launder "a significant quantity" of money from its activities in Germany and Turkey in the construction of a Formula One race track in Mallorca, police said in a statement.

Operation Casablanca targeted alleged drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, and running of prostitution rings by the Majorca chapter of the notorious motorbike club.

Most of the club's members arrived on the island from Germany after authorities in that country cracked down on the group in 2009.

The group raised money mainly by forcing women into prostitution across Germany and extorting cash from people they threatened to harm if they were not paid.

"Victims felt very intimidated by the violent and aggressive nature of the extortionists, some of whom were martial arts experts," police said in a statement.

"Aside from making threats in person, members of the group sent email messages to the families of victims with pictures taken as they went about their daily lives in other European countries like Germany or Holland," the statement added.

As part of their prostitution business on the island, the Majorca Hells Angels are also said to have systematically performed cosmetic surgery on prostitutes.

This was done "to make the product more attractive", according to a report in Spain's ABC newspaper on Wednesday.   

The Youssafi brothers apparently kept a tight rein on these operations, only allowing the prostitutes a day off once they had earned €1,000.

Police seized 10 cars, four motorcycles and around €50,000 as well as arms, jewellery, boats and cocaine and marijuana during the operation.

One local police officer was also nabbed as an informer in raids that capped off a two-year investigation, local newspaper Diario de Mallorca reported on Wednesday.

Several members of the Majorca chapter of the Hells Angles arrested on Tuesday were also wanted for kidnapping and homicide in Germany.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club have their origins in California after the Second World War.

They are thought to have from 2,000 to 2,500 members worldwide.

George Mills/The Local/AFP (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Suarez, Messi move Barca to within a point of Madrid
Photo: Jorge Guerrero / AFP

Suarez, Messi move Barca to within a point of Madrid

Barcelona moved to within a point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were on target in a 3-1 win at Granada on Saturday. READ  

Bailed-out Spanish bank reports profits jump
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Bailed-out Spanish bank reports profits jump

Bailed-out Spanish financial giant Bankia announced Saturday an 83 percent jump in its 2014 net profits to €747 million, though the group remains under investigation for an ill-fated 2011 stock listing. READ  

Catalonia prepares ahead of independence vote
Photo: AFP

Catalonia prepares ahead of independence vote

The wealthy Catalonia region is strengthening its tax office and expanding its network of foreign missions in defiance of the central government, as it prepares for possible secession from Spain. READ  

Spain's anti-austerity party opens books
Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain's anti-austerity party opens books

Podemos, the new anti-austerity party that is leading Spanish opinion polls, published its accounts Friday in a fresh bid to show that it is not financed by foreign governments. READ  

Prime time TV brought forward - to 10.15pm

Prime time TV brought forward - to 10.15pm

Spanish national broadcaster, RTVE, has announced it is bringing forward its prime time slot to 10.15pm, allowing Spaniards to get to bed earlier. READ  

Podemos gives up EU seats to run at home
Pablo Iglesias at a rally in Madrid on Wednesday. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Podemos gives up EU seats to run at home

Podemos, the new anti-establishment party in Spain, has said it will replace its European members of parliament so that its leaders can run in elections at home. READ  

What's on in Spain: March 2015
"The most dangerous walkway in the world" reopens in March. Photo: caminitodelrey.info

What's on in Spain: March 2015

Whether it is a trip to see the tongue-in-cheek send up of politicans at Las Fallas before a spectacular flaming finale in Valencia or braving the dizzying heights to walk the renovated Caminito del Rey, there is plenty going on across Spain in the run up to Easter. READ  

The strange consular requests of Brits abroad

The strange consular requests of Brits abroad

The British Foreign office has released a list of the strangest requests it receives from Brits abroad, from a chef to make the perfect haggis to advice on how to treat a cat’s infected paw. READ  

Ukraine crisis
Spaniards arrested for fighting for Russia
Pro-Russian separatists ride tanks in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on February 21, 2015. Photo: Vasily Maximov/AFP

Spaniards arrested for fighting for Russia

Police on Friday arrested eight Spaniards who were "inspired by the International Brigades" and had returned from fighting alongside pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, sources close to the investigation said. READ  

Priests defend secrecy in sex abuse confessions
Photo of a priest: Shutterstock

Priests defend secrecy in sex abuse confessions

Spain's bishops conference on Thursday defended the right of priests to maintain the secrecy of the confessional booth even in cases of serious crimes such as the sexual abuse of children. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
National
Eight cool things the crisis did for Spain
National
There is joy in learning something new yourself'
Travel
Top Ten: Spain's best beaches for 2015
National
Euro property bargains up for grabs in Spain
What's On
Spain's craziest carnivals
National
Spanish town fights 'Fifty Shades' bondage hotel
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
International
Vinnie Jones teaches Spanish in hilarious ad
What's On
Ten golden rules for snagging a Spanish man
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
National
Are these Spain's most romantic couples ever?
Property
House sales up for first year since crisis began
Gallery
The highs and lows of the Spanish property market
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
National
The five strangest things about Spaniards
Society
Bizarre Spanish fashions you shouldn't try at home
What's On
Top Spanish director to open Berlin Film Festival
National
Young and old, rich and poor join left-wing march
What's On
What's on in Spain: February 2015
International
Spain planned to invade Australia in 1790s
National
Spanish jobseekers fail exam with answers
National
Moving to Spain: a guide for beginners
National
Spain's new penal code: key talking points
International
Spain among Europe's cheapest nations: study
Features
Top ten surprising Spanish inventions
National
Court to study paternity suit against ex-king
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
National
Top ten: must-know Spanish superstitions
International
'Change Schengen rules to catch Islamists': Spain
What's On
Ten ways to spice up your Spanish life in 2015
Health
Spain tops world organ donation rankings
National
5 things no one tells you about renting in Spain
National
'No Pants Subway Ride' hits Madrid Metro
National
Spain's satirical mags back Charlie Hebdo
National
Finally: a Spanish PM bothers to visit Andorra
National
Woman fined for being kissed while driving
Travel
Top travel highlights in Spain for 2015
National
Gallery: Hits and misses of Antonio Banderas
National
Spain's top news in 2015: The Local's predictions
National
Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list
National
Christmas fireball lights up Spanish skies
National
Top ten: Spain's biggest stories of 2014
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

599
jobs available