A GANG that allegedly roamed Spain and other European countries to steal valuable medical equipment has been arrested.
The seven people detained are accused of stealing 60 million worth of equipment in their drime spree.
They mainly stole endoscopes – which fetch a high price – from hospitals, polyclinics and health centres
The stolen goods were then shipped to Colombia using parcel delivery companies.
Once in Colombia, the equipment was sold on through specialist companies and Internet portals that operated in the Unites States and Europe.
To commit the robberies, the organisation was organised in cells of three to six people, which travelled throughout Europe. They remained together for their criminal actions for up to six months at a time and travelled thousands of kilometres to commit crimes.
The investigation began at the beginning of the year when Spain’s National Police detected the presence of the criminal group. Officers quickly realised the gang was operating throughout Europe.
During several months of investigation, the agents found that the criminal activity focused on hospitals, polyclinics and health centres in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Denmark.
The National police called in Europol to help coordinate operations with police forces in the other nations affected.
In the first phase of the operation six members of a cell – four in Denmark, two in Spain – were arrested accused of a robbery in Herning (Denmark) worth €2 million and another in Dusseldorf (Germany) for €1.5 million.
The second phase took place in Colombia against the companies in charge of reintroducing the stolen goods onto the market. Spanish, German and Italian police joined their Colombian colleagues for the operation.
Twenty-two searches were carried out and 28 pieces of equipment valued at more than €50,000 recovered.