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.