In a significant crackdown named ‘Notredame-Vapershop,’ the Guardia Civil, in partnership with the National Police, has arrested four individuals and placed another three under investigation.

The individuals have been taken into custody with accusations including robbery with force, unlawful firearm possession, criminal group involvement, receiving stolen goods, and offences against public health and property.

Details of the operation were released on Tuesday, January 2, focusing on a spate of burglaries and thefts in Sevilla. Among the arrested were critical players in a sophisticated network of thieves specialising in high-value items, notably firearms and electronic cigarettes.

In the course of five intensive searches, authorities seized a substantial cache. They recovered four firearms along with various calibre ammunition and a bulletproof vest,

Police also seized three vehicles, two marijuana plantations, 50 hams, and nearly 57,000 electronic cigarettes. The wide variety of seized items underscores the diverse criminal activities of the group.

The probe was launched due to a notable upsurge in burglaries targeting homes, businesses, and industrial warehouses.

The pattern of thefts included firearms and a significant quantity of electronic cigarettes, hinting at a large-scale operation.

The criminals repeated their raids on two industrial sites up to three times, netting over €500,000 worth of electronic cigarettes. These were distributed across Sevilla through individuals, restaurants, and street vendors.

Investigators uncovered a criminal network that orchestrated the vehicle thefts, later using these vehicles in their raids.

The stolen cars were kept in public spaces to avoid detection before being employed in various burglaries. Some of the stolen vehicles were also traded with other criminal groups as payment for different illegal purposes.

This comprehensive operation culminated in the arrest of seven individuals and the disbanding of this specialist gang in the illegal electronic cigarette trade.

Two of the apprehended persons have been placed in preventive detention. The operation was a collaborative effort between the Guardia Civil’s Property Team from the Organic Unit of Judicial Police of Seville, the San Juan de Aznalfarache Guardia Civil Post’s Investigation Area, and the Specialised and Violent Crime Unit (UDEV) Group II.