An international police operation has led to the arrest of four people in the Madrid region, suspected of running a criminal gang that laundered money and carried out assassinations for South American drug cartels across all of Spain.
The police operation, which was dubbed Burlero, was carried out by Spanish Civil Guard units in coordination with Europol and the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to an official report released yesterday, 20th January.
The police conducted three raids simultaneously in the Madrid municipalities of Villaviciosa de Odon, Getafe, and Mostoles.
The video shows the moment the authorities raided the different homes in the Madrid region, where they also detained several people.
Agents are seen searching the homes which contain several weapons, luxury items, a fully equipped home gym, and even an altar dedicated to Santa Muerte (Saint Death).
Santa Muerte is a folk saint rooted in a pagan religion which is commonly worshipped by criminals in Latin countries to pray for success in their illegal ventures.
He is separate to the female deity of the same name that is characterised as a skeleton in Mexican culture.
According to the police report, officers found jewellery, high-end watches, top-brand shoes and dresses, luxury cars, and seven firearms with several rounds of ammunition.
Some of the weapons had been modified and had their serial numbers changed.
The Civil Guard started their investigations after receiving information on the possible presence of a criminal group in the Madrid region that sent large amounts of money to well-established drug cartels in Colombia and Peru two years ago.
They managed to identify the suspects after members from the Money Laundering Group in the Central Operative Unit (UCO) were able to trace the cash back to them.
They found the group had a high position in the criminal world and ran a “collection house” between the drug cartels in South America and the local groups that purchased drugs from them.
The suspects organised hitman work for some of the biggest drug cartels in South America and had a network of assassins who operated across Spain to collect the blood money.
They also found the group had fronts which they used to purchase land in Spain that allowed them to live luxurious lives.
Four people with Spanish, Colombian and Venezuelan nationalities have been detained while another eight have been charged.
Several suspects had prior charges against them in their home countries, however, their crimes were not specified.
The case remains open and is now being investigated by Madrid´s No4 Investigating Court.