HEAVILY armed police have swooped on a house and arrested a ‘very dangerous’ Belgian man in a big raid on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
The fugitive, is wanted by the Belgian authorities, is suspected of carrying out more than 20 robberies with extreme violence, as well as drug trafficking and the illegal trade of firearms crimes.
It is claimed he laundered the illicit proceeds from his crimes in Belgium via a restaurant in Spain.
With the support of Europol, the Spanish Guardia Civil, in coordination with the Belgian Federal Police, and the Belgian and Spanish judicial authorities, arrested the man in Torrevieja.
He escaped from Belgium in January and had been wanted by the Belgian authorities ever since.
When the Belgian Federal Police suspected the fugitive could be hiding on the Costa Blanca, they requested the cooperation of the Spanish Guardia Civil, who launched an investigation and surveillance activities.
Europol provided analytical support during the investigation by cross-checking data and facilitated information exchange.
Investigations revealed that the fugitive laundered the illicit proceeds derived from his criminal activity in Belgium through a restaurant in Spain – a cash-intensive business – and then invested the money in real estate.
The man was arrested in Spain following the issue of European Arrest Warrant launched by the Belgian authorities.
Three houses and a restaurant were searched in Spain, resulting in the shutdown of the restaurant used to launder the money and the freezing of two properties, bank accounts and a vehicle, alongside numerous documents, electronic devices, credit cards and a substantial amount of cash.