During an early morning raid on Wednesday in Calahonda – a popular resort for British expats on the Costa del Sol in Spain – the National Police arrested two British subjects, who were jailed pending an investigation into various crimes. The men are suspected of blowing up ATMs along the coast using hand grenades and gas cylinders. The last four Bank Robbery attacks happened in the two weeks prior to the arrests. Among the items recovered during the arrest, police found hand grenades and acetylene gas cylinders, along with electrical cables and other tools related to the crimes.

They also found an unspecified amount of cannabis resin and cocaine in the property where the British suspects were arrested.

13 bank robberies in three months

According to The Local, after around 13 separate attacks on cash machines along the Costa del Sol and in inland towns, over a period of slightly more than three months, Malaga police made it a priority to track down the suspects. During their raid, police also arrested two Spaniards and one has been jailed pending a judicial probe.

The two British subjects and one Spaniard are suspected of various crimes including the possession of weapons of war, theft, membership of a criminal gang, as well as drug-related offenses. The two Spaniards were suspected of supplying the British suspects with acetylene gas and for acting in an intermediary capacity.

Amount of cash taken during the bank robbery attacks still to be advised

While the amount of cash taken by the suspects has not yet been revealed, in some cases the robbers reportedly used explosives to blow up the ATMs, while in others acetylene gas was used. Police believe that some of the cash has already been reinvested in other organized Crime activities.

The Bank robbery spree started in July

The first attacks happened in July, when two Santander Bank cash machines were blown up within a three week period.

Two of the ATMs were located in the city of Malaga and another was in the town of Cala del Moral nearby, where the bank was destroyed in the attack, due to the amount of explosives used by the robbers. In most cases, the attacks on the ATMs were carried out on the weekend, or shortly prior to public holidays, when cash machines are traditionally loaded with extra cash while the banks are closed.

The ongoing investigation by police will attempt to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to charge the three jailed suspects with all 13 ATM attacks, or whether there may be another gang involved in the various attacks still at large.

According to the Mirror Online a spokesman for the Malaga National Police declined to comment, citing a secrecy order that has been placed on the case. This is reportedly standard practice when an ongoing judicial probe is in place.