smuggled gold bullion between Spain and Panama.
The National Police have arrested in Madrid the leader of the ‘Baghdad Cartel‘, the most active Panamanian organization dedicated to international drug trafficking, arms trafficking, settling of scores and homicides.
According to the police, agents managed to locate and arrest him on Monday, February 20, in the Madrid municipality of Pozuelo de Alarcón as allegedly responsible for the crimes of. criminal organization and money laundering.
This man had been unaccounted for since 2021, when the criminal group he headed was dismantled. The main laundering activity was carried out through the smuggling into Spain of gold bullion from Panama.
The investigation originated in 2021, based on information from the U.S. Treasury Department, which through its embassy in Madrid pointed to the. possible settlement of the leader of the main Panamanian cartel in Spain and the introduction of large quantities of cocaine into Europe as his main job.
Since then, the investigation has been marked by a close cooperation with the authorities Panamanian authorities and judicial authorities with the objective of verifying this information coming from the United States and the arrest of those responsible.
A gold smelter in Spain
Police officers were able to reconstruct as much as more than ten laundering operations of capital committed by the organization, amounting to more than one million euros, they have specified in a note.
Once the investigators verified that an important work of laundering carried out by the organization was carried out through the smuggling of gold ingots arriving from Panama to be commercialized in a gold smelter in Spain, the policemen arrested the financial director of the smelterThis was a major police blow against gold laundering.
They also discovered that a large part of the laundered money was subsequently converted into virtual currency. The agents identified a citizen as the main responsible of the company in charge of the conversion to virtual currency, who was finally arrested. In total they were 10 people were arrested92 accounts worth 400,000 euros, 39 properties worth 1.5 million euros and 10 vehicles worth 170,000 euros were blocked.
The Police explain that at that time the leader of the organization could not be located, but they continued their efforts to get him in cooperation with the Panamanian authorities. In the end they found out that the main person responsible for the investigation was in Madrid, ending with his arrest in Pozuelo de Alarcón.