Spanish police say they have busted a gang of ex-military men from Eastern Europe who allegedly robbed luxury homes in the southern Málaga province.
Six people were arrested on Wednesday, including the alleged ringleader from Albania. A stash of jewellery, watches, cash and weapons was found.
The gang is alleged to have carried out 71 thefts from luxury homes and businesses mostly in Marbella.
Police say the suspects were “highly skilled” in robberies and break-ins.
“With their knowledge of military techniques, they used strict personal security and counter-surveillance measures while moving around on foot or in vehicles, changing direction or making unexpected stops,” a police statement alleges.
“They were also trained to access any type of property, regardless of the height of its walls and perimeters, and to act quickly and efficiently,” it adds.
The alleged ringleader is believed to have taken part in all the robberies, always carrying a firearm. Police described him as an expert in “boarding [vessels] and counter-surveillance”.
Houses in the city of Málaga, as well as the towns of Estepona and Torremolinos were also targeted by the gang.
In at least four of the robberies police say physical violence was used.
Police say they were able to apprehend the suspects with the help of a local businessman.
The nationalities of the other five alleged gangsters have not been publicly released.