Spanish police have foiled a Portuguese car-theft smuggling ring which focused on top-of-the-range cars which it managed to legalise before selling on for high prices.
Already six luxury cars – valued at €140,000 – have been recovered in France, Germany and Spain.
Spain’s investigators wasted no time in getting wind of the scam. According to Jornal de Notícias, their inquiry only got underway at the beginning of last month – and already the ring has been dismantled. A number of people remain ‘on the run’, but police are already well aware who they are.
The gang operated by buying cars ‘legally’ from their owners, but cancelling purchase cheques before the owners were able to cash them.
They then had contacts who were able to ‘legalise’ the vehicles, so that they could be re-sold in France, Spain and Germany.
According to investigators, the gang was “very well organised” with a Portuguese woman in charge of selling the stolen vehicles on to third parties – none of which were aware they were buying hot property.