Top officials cut costs by driving ‘mafia’ cars

Spanish politicians are saving the government €400,000 (€539,000) by using four armoured mafia vehicles seized in a massive money laundering sting operation.

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

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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