27 Nov 2018
Authorities have frozen a number of assets linked to a Belgian criminal who used a Spanish restaurant to launder illicit proceeds and then invest the money in real estate.
The man, who was part of an organised crime group, had been wanted by Belgian police after allegedly committing over 20 robberies with ‘extreme violence.’
He was also allegedly involved in other crimes such as drug trafficking and illegally dealing in firearms.
In January this year he escaped Belgium for Spain, and a joint probe between Belgian and Spanish law enforcement ensued.
“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,” said Europol, which assisted with the case.
The man – described as “very dangerous” – was arrested in Spain this month following a 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,” Europol explained.
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