Spain Detains 25 Georgian Organized Crime Suspects

Over 100 organized crime suspects, including 25 Georgian citizens, were arrested by the Spanish police in cooperation with Georgian counterparts in Barcelona.

In a statement released on April 4, the Georgian Interior Ministry said that the suspects are charged with robbing residential apartments and membership to criminal network.

“Members of criminal groups were choosing apartments in advance, collecting pertinent information about them before robbing,” the Interior Ministry said.

As a separate development, 41 Georgian citizens have been arrested in Spain under administrative rules for violation of immigration rules.

Spanish media reported on April 4 that over 200 police officers participated in the police operation carried out against Georgian thieves.

This is the third case of arresting Georgian citizens on charges of membership to criminal networks over the past month. In March, a total of eight citizens were arrested in France and Greece, including one criminal boss, on the same charges.

Last year, 12 Georgian citizens, including two criminal bosses, were arrested in France and Spain on charges of membership to criminal networks.

A number of European countries, including Germany, Iceland and Sweden, have communicated their concerns over the increased number of crimes committed by Georgian citizens and Georgian asylum seekers, triggering doubts that the EU would temporarily suspend the visa-free regime.

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