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Top officials cut costs by driving 'mafia' cars

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Top officials cut costs by driving 'mafia' cars
Interior Minister Jorge Fernández is one of several top government officials now being driven around in the 'mafia' cars. Photo: Jorge Colón/AFP
10:42 CEST+02:00
Spanish politicians are saving the government €400,000 (€539,000) by using four armoured mafia vehicles seized in a massive money laundering sting operation.

Spanish Police broke up the gang last February, seizing a vast array of assets they had acquired after laundering huge sums of money from the sale of gold.

These included four top-of-the-range vehicles, each worth an estimated €100,000, which ended up parked in a police depot for several months.

According to Spanish national daily El Mundo, somebody had the brilliant idea of asking a Valencia judge if the bulletproof cars could be handed over to the government for "police use".

The judge agreed to the proposal and some of Spain’s most important government officials – Interior Minister Jorge Fernández, Secretary of State for Security Francisco Martínez and Police Director General Ignacio Cosidó – are now being driven around in bulletproof cars.

The ceasefire by Basque separatist group Eta in 2011 resulted in a drastic cut in armoured government vehicles and bodyguards awarded to Spanish politicians, as they were no longer considered to be a target for terrorists.

The seizure of the four 'mafia' cars has reportedly saved the Spanish government €400,000 as the only armoured vehicles they had available were in disrepair and required expensive maintenance.  

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