POLICE in France and Spain have joined forces to arrest three men who allegedly broke into safes at luxury hotel complexes in Paris and different areas of Andalucia.
Guardia Civil agents detained the one of the gang-members at a Marbella villa after they stole a total of €4.5 million in valuables and cash from thefts in Spain and France.
Police first started investigating the gang in August last year after several robberies in a luxury hotel complex in the Cadiz town of Chiclana.
They baptised the operation ‘Ebony Blue’ and started to interview the victims and witnesses of the different attacks.
Guardia Civil agents revealed how the gang would first scout out the area and once they would then wait for the residents to leave their luxury apartments.
They would then use electronic fake keys or cards to break into the flats, quickly open safes and take valuables and cash, before getting away without being noticed.
After taking stock of the evidence, Spanish police agents made their move to arrest the man they believed to be the leader of the gang in Marbella.
At his home agents found two sports bags with all the valuables stolen in Chiclana, including various high value watches.
They also discovered false identity documents, mobile phones and other clues to use against the Algerian man with French residence.
The Guardia Civil had been working with the French national police through the Europol network to track down the other gang members.
French agents finally arrested a Spanish national and the leader of the gang after they carried out a daring theft on a hotel close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The pair had stolen over €450,000 in valuables from that hotel raid, police said.
Investigations proved that the gang had used the same method to extract over €1.5 million of valuables and cash from properties in Cannes and Paris.
After being sentenced in Paris, the two gang members face extradition to Spain to answer for their crimes in Andalucia.