A crime syndicate made up of Germans and Spaniards could be facing maximum sentences of 76 years if found guilty of stealing and dealing in luxury yachts in Majorca, Germany and mainland Spain. The Palma prosecution has recommended that the seven suspects serve a total of 76 years for their part in the biggest criminal operation involving stolen yachts to have been smashed by the Guardia Civil in the Balearics. The gang stands accused of having stolen, altered the documentation and then sold on, a total of 13 vessels from ports and marinas spread across the Balearics, Spain and Germany. According to judicial sources, the yachts were stolen between 1990 and 1995. The prosecution claims to have identified the “brains” behind the operation and a yacht maintenance company which was set up in Santa Ponsa marina and apparently used as a front for the criminal gang and for illegally selling on the stolen yachts. Apparently the gang stole the yacht from marinas in northern Germany, the Costa Brava and the Balearics and a number of the stolen vessels were sold in Majorca and Ibiza. The prosecution says that the gang was extremely well organised with certain members dedicated to stealing the yachts, others to sailing them to new destinations for re-sale and others who specialised in tampering and altering the vessels' documentation. The first yacht was stolen in September, 1990. The launch was stolen in Germany, its named changed and then sailed to Ibiza where it was sold for nearly four million pesetas. Some months later the gang targeted a number of luxury yachts moored in Germany, Gerona and Ibiza. The thefts continued until October 1995, when the last yacht was stolen from Gerona in Spain.


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