THE authorities have notched up a win against crime by busting an illegal lottery group which had been running in Malaga province for more than eight years.
Junta de Andalucia regional government representative for the province Jose Luis Ruiz Espejo reported that an extensive operation by the regional police and the anti-gambling services led to 27 arrests and confiscation of 172,298 ‘La Rapida’ quick lottery tickets.
“Members of every level of the organisation’s hierarchy, from the leader to the street vendors, have been identified and arrested and the headquarters in Campillos the group operated from located,” Ruiz Espejo explained.
Arrestees include, along with the head of the organisation, three collectors and 23 ticket sellers and officers confiscated €2,400 in cash as well as the illegal tickets, the delegate said.
The operation follows a similar one in August which saw 44 arrests and confiscation of 163,590 La Rapida tickets and has put a full end to the fraudulent activities by the group. Paperwork and accounts found at the headquarters revealed that the criminals were pocketing up to one million euros per year through their activities.
Ruiz Espejo congratulated everyone involved in the police operation for their intense work to put an end to illegal gambling activities and explained that the case is now in the hands of the courts, which could issue fines of up to €300,000 for running an unauthorised lottery system.