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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Spanish police arrest Hells Angel boss

The German-born, European head of the Hells Angels motorbike gang was arrested in raids carried out by Spanish police on Tuesday. Officers found him in his Majorcan villa. In what was described as a major blow to the island's powerful German mafia, some 200 police and Civil Guard officers made 25 arrests in 31 raids in an operation directed by Spain's National High Court.

The raids led to the arrest of the most important Hells Angels figures in Europe, 49-year-old German Frank Armin Hanebuth.

Hanebuth — considered by German police to be one of that country's most dangerous men according to Focus news magazine— was shacked up in a villa in Lloret de Vistalegre when he was taken into custody.

One local police officer was also nabbed in raids that capped off a three-year investigation, local newspaper Diario de Mallorca reported on Wednesday.

Operation Casablanca targeted alleged drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, and running of prostitution rings by the Majorca chapter of the notorious motorbike club.

Most of the club's members arrived on the island from Germany after authorities in that country cracked down on the group in 2009. As part of their prostitution business on the island, the Majorca Hells Angels are said to have systematically performed cosmetic surgery on prostitutes.

This was done "to make the product more attractive", according to a report in Spain's ABC newspaper on Wednesday.

The Youssafi brothers apparently kept a tight rein on these operations, capturing women and only granting them a day off when they had earned a specific amount of money.

Several members of the Majorca chapter of the Hells Angles arrested on Tuesday were also wanted for kidnapping and homicide in Germany. The gang has its origins in California after the Second World War and is thought to have between 2,000 to 2,500 members worldwide.

The Local/gm

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