Police in Málaga have arrested seven people, the majority Rumanian nationals, who formed part of an organised network involved in relieving tourists of their belongings upon leaving Málaga airport.
The operation, codenamed ‘Pinchazo’, was carried out in two phases, the first in Alicante and the second in Málaga. In Alicante, 18 people were arrested and in Málaga 7 people were arrested, all part of the same organisation.
Raids on various houses in Benalmadena and Torremolinos led to the seizure of 3,000 euros in cash, 1,000 dollars, 1,000 pounds and coins from a dozen different countries, all presumed to be the proceeds of theft.
Several burglaries have been attributed to the organisation but their main source of valuables came through the familiar ‘puncture’ ploy.
The thieves would divide into two-person cells and select tourists arriving in Málaga who were continuing their journey by car. The victims would drive off but then be forced to stop because of a puncture. The thieves, following behind, would stop and while one offered to help the tourists, the other would steal their bags and anything else they could get their hands on.