POLICE have arrested two members of a criminal gang that stole medium to high range cars across the Costa Blanca and then tried to sell them to overseas buyers.
The two men, of Latvian and Belarussian nationalities, changed all of the vehicle identification to trick buyers they were involved in a legitimate deal.
The Policia Nacional investigation started in August after they discovered a Denia address was being used to put fake number plates on cars.
The vehicles then underwent a second plate switch from countries such as Switzerland or Ukraine with the aim of making it difficult to identify where they came from at routine controls.
Officers carried out surveillance at the Denia premises and spotted the arrival of a large number of people who had vehicles with foreign license plates- which turned out to be false.
The building was in fact used as nerve centre to store and falsify the identity of stolen cars which were subsequently sent abroad for sale.
The police operation gathered pace after one of the cars that arrived to be processed had been reported stolen by Italian authorities and also happened to be the same model and colour of another car stolen in Villajoyosoa days earlier.
It was going to be delivered to a man who had specially flown in to Spain with the intention of driving it out of the country.
Two men were detained- one of whom was stopped behind the wheel of the car listed as stolen from Italy.
Two home searches were carried out in Benidorm and Denia which saw the stolen Villajoyosa car located and had its chassis number removed and Swiss number plates on it.
Machinery with a high degree of sophistication was found in the homes for cutting high-quality chassis numbers using laser technology; templates for chassis numbers from different brands; false stickers used for vehicle identification; and falsified documentation.
In addition there was stolen original documentation, frequency inhibitors and vehicle key cloners.
The police probe determined that at least eight cars had been stolen, with the investigation remaining open to arrest other gang members and to identify more stolen vehicles.