THE stepson of Marbella Mayor Angeles Muñoz has been extradited to Spain to face accusations of drug trafficking, money laundering and being involved in organised crime.
Joakim Peter Broberg had been languishing behind bars in Brazil since April waiting for a court decision on extradition, which was finally made in November. He then remained in jail until December 20 before being flown to Spain accompanied by Spanish police, reports LA Opinion de Malaga.
In July, the Swedish man’s lawyer told the Brazilian RecordTV programme Fala Brasil that Broberg was ‘anxious’ to be extradited to Spain.
The businessman was arrested in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte on April 7 following a warrant from the National High Court, and on April 20 the South American country’s Federal Supreme Court ordered him to be remanded in custody pending extradition following a request from Interpol.
Police had traced Broberg’s whereabouts through his use of banking software installed on his mobile phone.
The search for the Swedish businessman involved police officers from the UK, Spain, France and the Netherlands.
Joakim and his father Lars – husband of Muñoz – were among the 71 people so far arrested in a police operation spanning both Spain and Sweden.
Real estate boss Lars, 80 was picked up for questioning in February, while his 41-year-old son Joakim was arrested in Brazil.
The investigation – dubbed Operation Mueble (Operation Furniture) – began in 2018, and was divided into four phases.
It was launched when the Swedish authorities asked Spain’s Policia Nacional to investigate a group of drug traffickers coming from the Costa del Sol.
They claimed that up to 50 deaths a year could be linked to a settling of scores between the gang and other Scandinavian rivals.
When police raided a series of warehouses in 2018, they found 55,000 heroin substitute pills and 85 kg of cannabis.
The products arrived hidden in furniture collected from the San Pedro del Alcantara industrial estate, near Marbella.
Suspecting a new shipment, the Policia Nacional raided a transportation company’s warehouse and arrested a foreman and an assistant while they were preparing to move an additional 265 kilos of hashish.
They also found four kilos of cannabis in one of their homes.
During the raid, in 2018, they also found an alarming array of guns, including two submachine guns, eight handguns, a rifle and a hand grenade.
The ‘front’ company, which also had a base in Torrevieja, on the Costa Blanca, had over €1.8 million frozen in bank accounts, while €592,000 in cash was also seized.
A total of 50 vehicles were seized along with properties worth over €14 million.
They allegedly arrested the owner of the transport company who is based between Malmo, in Sweden, and Alicante.
The wealthy businessman owns a number of companies in Sweden.
A further raid of the Broberg’s Wasa Consulting company in February meanwhile led to the arrests of six people and the seizure of documents, which police are still investigating.
The same Marbella office, in Centro Plaza, in Nueva Andalucia, also held a series of documents for a string of companies – believed to be 17 in total – owned by Joakim.
Lars Broberg has defended the absolute legality of his activity.
He insisted he was collaborating with the investigators, ensuring he gave the police everything they needed.
His son was harder to track down and it wasn’t until April this year that police were forced to issue a search and capture warrant for his arrest
The operation centres around a huge drug smuggling ring that imported drugs from Morocco to San Pedro on the Costa del Sol attached to the hulls of pleasure craft.
The drugs were also imported in modified surfboards powered by underwater propulsion engines.
In total, 25 bales of hashish weighing around 500 kilos were found attached to one surfboard alone.
According to police sources, the Swedish organisation bought numerous properties in Malaga at high prices in order to launder the money.
In addition, 64 luxury properties and plots of land were located and seized.
The total amount of property and assets recovered is estimated to be well over €55 million.
The investigators believe that the ultimate aim was to transfer the money to third party companies in tax havens where luxury goods were purchased or loans were granted to the companies based in Spain, thus laundering the money.