A news release from Europol on 17 December advised that Spanish National Police (Policiá National) had taken down a large Russian-speaking high-risk organised crime network involved in corruption and money laundering in Spain. The large-scale criminal network, implicated in a number of other criminal activities including murder, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, trafficking of human beings and extortion was active across Europe, South America and the US. The large-scale criminal network managed to infiltrate various Spanish public institutions. This enabled the network to carry out their business with impunity, overcome legal obstacles and receive a series of administrative favours including protection from police and judicial investigations and facilitation of the acquisition of Spanish residence for the clients of the criminal organisation. Activities included various investment projects such as land acquisition to develop luxury real estate projects, and purchasing restaurants, industrial warehouses, plots and boats. To launder the foreign assets the group used a network of bogus companies established in different counties, including South America. The criminals used advanced technologies, such as cryptocurrencies.
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