Officers from the Guardia Civil have arrested two men, aged 24 and 37, who are believed to have posed as police officers in order to rob foreign motorists across the Alicante province.
The two men are charged with committing at least nineteen counts of robbery or theft, as well as offences of forgery, belonging to a criminal gang and impersonating the police.
The investigation began in March when the Guardia Civil became aware of two men committing robberies in this way and sought to catch the perpetrators.
According to the investigators, in order to commit the offences the men would wear fake uniforms and other items of clothing and target foreign drivers who they believed would not know the actual appearance and routines of the Spanish security services.
The men also fake identity cards and badges which gave the impression that they were police officers, all of which were in fact fakes.
The pair would sometimes pretend to carry out “routine inspections” of vehicles in order to commit their crimes, and would routinely target foreigners in rest areas and service stations along the motorway network, as well as in the main roads and streets. They would often pull alongside vehicles and identify themselves as police, and demand to check for drugs, as well as checking bags and bumbags, and stealing money during these checks.
During the arrest the officers found various items which they believed were used to commit the offences, including police identity cards, false number plates, clothing which bears similarities to those worn by the police, documents, cash and other items.
The two arrestees have been handed over to the courts in Villena.
A video is available on the N332.es website to help identify unmarked Guardia Civil traffic cars so as to help avoid such incidents.