Illegal sales of used tires to European, American and African countries carried out by Spain-based criminal organization, has been curbed by the Spanish Guardia Civil.

Nine criminals responsible for unsanctioned trade are now under arrest; the group purchased used tires and sold them illegally in 17 states based in African, American and European continents.

Operation ROTAMM, which was completed by the Guardia Civil, helped to cease the operation of a criminal group from Spain that had been reselling tires to third world countries where the products were used on vehicles instead of being recycled.

Photo: Interpol

According to estimates, some 2 million euros in net profits might have been gained as a result of the unsanctioned trade carried out by the criminals. Experts claim that the number of tires that had been illegally transported by the criminals in the last five years may exceed 200,000.

Additionally, five more individuals were suspected in criminal activity and 17 houses were searched. The investigation had been receiving support of Europol for half a year: the organization assisted with informational analysis, technical aspects and international coordination, which was crucial given that illegal trading involved Europeans states, including Poland, France, Germany, Portugal and Bulgaria.

Regarding other continents, criminals managed to target a number of Latin American countries and some U.S. states.

According to Jari Liukku, Head of Department at Europol’s European Serious and Organised Crime Centre, the criminal offence of illegitimate waste trafficking is extremely dangerous, as it can pose a tremendous environmental threat and generate huge incomes for criminals, whonormally operate on a global scale using corrupt schemes, engage in money laundering activities and receive support of sanctioned commercial organizations. Even though the case of Spanish criminal group was successfully resolved, Europol expects other challenges ahead.

Article by Tyre Press