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Six Eastern Bloc Mafia bosses were arrested on Tuesday in Cataluña in a police operation, aimed at the eastern mafias using Spanish businesses to launder millions of euros from their illegal activities. This money was obtained from drug trafficking and arms sales, and large amounts were laundered on the Catalan coast through building societies, and legal businesses like restaurants and hotels created by the group.
Also among those arrested was the owner of a Gestoría (a solicitors/accountants) in Salou, Tarragona: Juan Oyonate, 40, is suspected of laundering money for these groups over a period of 10 years, and was also responsible for the financial engineering of the group. In 2003 he created an independent local political party, but without any success.
The Mafia groups arrested are from different countries: Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. They installed themselves in Barcelona and Tarragona with the idea of living a quiet comfortable life with false papers, to launder their money. One, Ladus Unayan, was an ex-commandant of the Armenian police.
One more suspect in the case was not arrested, although officers knew he was in Catalunya during March, he had the foresight to return to Kiev before the operation was put into motion. The six arrested were part of an operation all over Europe against Russian-Georgian Mafia which resulted in a total of 80 arrests, of Mafia bosses between 27 and 49 years of age, all enjoying a high lifestyle.
The arrests in Catalunya resulted in the capture of €42,000 in bills of 500, and 14 high range vehicles; one of the arrested having just bought two Mercedes in recent months.

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