Palma.—Operation Mando (remote control) was prompted by a wave of robberies from luxury cars at the beginning of June last year and has just completed with the arrest of seven people, the recovery of 15 luxury cars and the seizure of 3'000 marijuana plants.

According to the National Police yesterday, the gang have apparently stripped down an estimated 50 top of the range vehicles since the operation began and then sold the parts on.

In some of the cases, there was apparently little left of the vehicles, most of them targeted in under ground car parks.
According to the police the gang was made up of a variety of highly qualified specialists.
There were those who were entrusted with breaking into the vehicles, those expert in stripping the cars down while the rest would keep watch.
And finally, the stolen part would be passed on to front men who would sell on the stripped luxury part.
After the operation was launched, members of the National Police Serious Crime Squad located an estate between Palma and Marratxi which was owned by two brothers who were apparently handling and fencing the stolen goods. According to the police, clients were sought out by members of the gang and then spare parts for luxury cars stolen to order.

On January 10, after months of investigations, the national Police Serious Crime Squad was given the order to begin closing in on the gang.
Phase one of the operation involved the police storming the finca between Palma and Marratxi where ten remote controls to under ground garages were found along with 15 luxury cars, most of them had been totally stripped down.

Some of the stolen spare parts were worth 5'000 euros and more but were being fenced on the black market for much less.
The police also seized 1'300 euros in cash, numerous stolen mobile telephones, an imitation pistol and various tools used for breaking into vehicles.
A plantation of 3'000 plants of marijuana weighing in excess of 144 kilos was also discovered.
According to the police, the plantation was very sophisticated with the very latest technology installed to propagate the plants.
What is more, the laboratory was concealed in an allegedly run down annex on the estate behind a series of security doors.
Police are continuing with their investigation because they suspect, because of the size of the racket, more people could be involved and are therefore not ruling out further arrests.


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