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Cops catch crooks who stole police coke stash

Alex Dunham · 19 Apr 2013, 13:47

Published: 19 Apr 2013 13:47 GMT+02:00

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The robbery happened in November 2011.

The gang first drove into the storehouse and then deactivated the complex security systems, which included movement sensors and security cameras.

They spent hours in the facility and then tried to cover their traces by spraying foam all over the building before allegedly fleeing with the drugs.

Investigators had been following the group for some time because they were suspected of having carried out numerous ram-raid style jewellery heists across Spain.

The investigation team believes, however, the gang had changed their modus operandi to focus on drugs.

The criminal group has a combined total of over a hundred arrests under their belt but they’ve still managed to elude jail time for the majority of their crimes.

Using a biological test, however, investigators managed to link the police storehouse robbery with an earlier similar theft at a food warehouse in Algeciras.

That information was enough to put five of the gang members behind bars, reported news daily ABC on Friday.

Ringleader Francisco Martín Sáez, known as ‘el Niño Sáez’ (the Sáenz kid), had been laying low in Malaga with his partner Jean Joseph Younes “El Libanés” (the Lebanese) when police finally caught the pair.

Four other gang members were arrested in Madrid.

Israel Arriero Valcárcel, nicknamed ‘the Troll’, was also arrested by the Spanish Guardia Civil for using various frontmen to launder the money the gang had seized in their heists.

Arriero was set free by the judge.

Not a single gram of cocaine was found by police during the searches, an indication that the notorious gang had already managed to flog the stash off.

Story continues below…

A dispute between two courts over which of them would take the case may have given the group time to make the drugs “disappear”, reported ABC.

Police officers found replica guns and some money but no sign of any of the jewellery the group had allegedly stolen from numerous shops across Spain.

The investigation team denies claims that the cocaine heist was ordered by a third party.

They do believe however that the group had a man on the inside who helped them carry out the robbery at the police drugs store room.

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

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