Agents of the National Police have dismantled a criminal network allegedly dedicated to money laundering from Venezuela. Four people have been arrested in Madrid and three international arrest warrants have been issued in an operation in which seven homes and professional offices have been registered. The agents have preemptively seized more than 115 properties valued at 60 million euros, among which are a hotel, two apartment buildings, a luxury development with more than 60 villas located in Marbella and several buildings located in the Salamanca district (Madrid).
The investigation began more than a year ago when the agents detected a series of transfers, made by a Portuguese citizen from abroad, who had as their destination bank accounts of people linked to Venezuelan ex-politicians and managers of a wealth management company operating in Spain.
As a result of the mechanisms of international police cooperation, the agents verified that this person was also being investigated by the Department of National Security of the United States. Apparently he was involved in help various ex-directors of a Venezuelan public company to launder more than 1.2 billion dollars obtained through bribes, in what is known in that country as a "Money Flight" case.
As a result of the collaboration between both countries, it was determined that the wealth management company provided money laundering services to Venezuelan politicians and executives of the aforementioned public company. With this they helped hide the profits obtained from their criminal activity by investing the funds in real estate assets located in Spain, all through a complex corporate structure with ramifications in Switzerland, Malta and Italy.
The operative device deployed by the investigators has allowed the arrest of four people in Madrid. In addition, three international arrest warrants have been issued and 7 records have been carried out in homes and professional offices. Likewise, it has proceeded to freeze more than 115 properties, including a hotel, two apartment buildings, a luxury development with more than 60 villas located in Marbella and several properties located in the Salamanca district (Madrid), all with an estimated value of 60 million euros. Along with these properties, more than several bank accounts have been blocked, with the members of the criminal organization as well as the intervention of five high-end vehicles.
The operation, called "Carabela2", has been coordinated by the Special Prosecutor Against Corruption and Organized Crime under the direction of the Court of Instruction No. 41 of Madrid, and has had the cooperation of the US Department of Homeland Security.