35 Arrests Made in Coordinated Raid Against Violent Watch Snatchers Across Europe

Naples, Italy – In a targeted operation today, the Italian National Police apprehended 8 individuals believed to be part of a criminal syndicate responsible for a string of violent watch robberies spanning multiple European countries. This latest crackdown, spearheaded by Europol, brings the total number of arrests to 35, marking a significant blow to organized crime networks operating in the region.

The nefarious activities of these robbers primarily targeted luxury watch owners frequenting tourist hotspots and major cities across Europe. Employing a brazen modus operandi, the criminals operated in small groups, meticulously scouting potential victims in upscale establishments such as fine-dining restaurants and luxury hotels. Once a target was identified, they swiftly moved in, using violence if necessary, to forcibly seize expensive timepieces before making a quick getaway, often on scooters.

The surge in luxury watch prices in recent years has created a lucrative incentive for criminals, with certain rare timepieces fetching prices far beyond retail values. This surge in robberies prompted a collaborative effort among national law enforcement agencies, culminating in today’s coordinated raids led by Europol.

Europol’s analytical prowess identified a distinct pattern of organized criminal activity across Europe, prompting the issuance of European Arrest Warrants for the apprehension of suspects. The Naples Squadra Mobile, alongside other law enforcement agencies, worked tirelessly to execute the operation, supported by the @ON Network funded by the EU Commission and led by the Italian Antimafia Investigation Directorate (DIA).

Participating authorities from various European countries including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland were instrumental in the success of today’s operation. Their collaborative efforts underscore the importance of international cooperation in combating transnational crime.

This latest crackdown serves as a stark warning to would-be criminals that law enforcement agencies are united in their resolve to tackle organized crime and ensure the safety and security of citizens across Europe. As investigations continue, authorities remain vigilant, ready to thwart any attempts to undermine the peace and prosperity of the region.

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