The gang put forged license plates onto cars and then shipped them to Morocco. But they aroused suspicions by sending multiple cars with the same license number.
Rabat – The Spanish Civil Guard has arrested eight suspects of a car theft ring in Spain in late March believed to be headed by a Moroccan man. Four of those arrested were relatives of the suspected ringleader, three his children and one his nephew.
The authorities discovered that the ring sent stolen cars for sale in Africa, especially Morocco, according to Spanish news outlet Mira Corredor.
Spanish police officers stated that before the suspects shipped the vehicles to Morocco, the gang used them to rob pharmacies on the weekends in Madrid. The gang had attacked eight pharmacies with force.
The Spanish Civil Guard seized 57 vehicles and equipment used in forging number plates.
Police carried out an investigation following reports from maritime ports that vehicles of the same make and model were being shipped to Morocco under identical license plate numbers.
The Moroccan man thought to be the head of the gang, shipped up to two cars per week to Africa. The seemingly family operation included relatives specializing in various aspects of the crime.
One member was in charge of changing license plates and chassis numbering and falsifying identification information. Another stole expensive cars, and the oldest son stole vans.
On the day of the raid, police recovered 25 cars parked in different streets in Madrid, five of which had the same license plate number. The suspects sometimes parked the stolen cars near their homes.
Before sending them to the small town of Paracuellos de Jarama northeast of Madrid where they had a farm and forged the license plates, the gang usually parked the stolen cars along national roads for a few days to make sure they were not under police surveillance.
The main suspect took the cars through the Spain-Morocco border by buying and registering one car legally and then stealing cars of the same make and model and copying the license plate onto them, according to the news outlet.