The Mossos d'Esquadra have culminated this Friday an investigation of more than a year against Los Casuals, known for being the most violent ultras of Barça, but also for their trajectory in the world of organized crime. The Catalan police have arrested 25 people in 17 searches, under the tutelage of the court of instruction number 12 of Barcelona. Among others, the agents have entered the home of Ricardo Mateo, in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, but have not found the suspect and alleged leader of the group. Catalan police have arrested Francisco Perez, alias Paco el Gordo, according to police sources. The latter has become known in recent weeks for a threatening audio to an Espanyol ultra who jumped in the field invasion during the derby in which Barça won the league.
The police operation arises from a joint investigation between the Mossos Information Police Station – which pursues the ultras – and the Criminal Investigation Division (DIC) of the Investigation Police Station. It starts in November 2021, when, under the direction allegedly of Paco el Gordo, a group of Casuals attacked the bar Los Cazadores. In the past, this establishment had been frequented by Brigadas Blanquiazules, the radicals of Espanyol. They did it as revenge after an ultra of the blue and white team participated in the attack on a bar in Los Boixos, along with Benfica fans.
La Brimo breaks into another of the houses registered by the Mossos in L'Hospitalet. Albert Garcia
In parallel, Mossos of the Criminal Investigation Division investigated alleged extortion in the world of nightlife attributed to members of Los Casuals. Finally, both joined in one, which has directed a court in Barcelona. Most of the searches have been carried out in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, with the support of the GHGs given the danger of some of the targets and the possibility that they were armed. They are accused of a string of crimes: public disorder, homicide, kidnapping, possession of weapons, against public health, extortion and criminal organization, among others.
The agents have found in the homes 180,000 euros in troops and five firearms (four short and one long), several knives (catanas, knives and machetes), in addition to other prohibited weapons and bulletproof vests. Investigators have also dismantled two marijuana plantations in two homes, with about 300 plants each, and have intervened watches and high-end cars allegedly of "illicit origin," according to the police, in addition to electronic devices.
Among the various crimes attributed to them, the Catalan police implicate them in at least the cover-up of a homicide, according to judicial sources. It is a crime, which investigates another court, but that the Mossos consider to be related to Los Casuals: the death of a man, whose body was found in the trunk of a van in Barcelona in March. The police suspect that it was a drug transaction in a local neighborhood of Gràcia, which ended with a fatality. They are also accused of smuggling drugs into prison.
In the picture, Francisco Pérez, alias Paco el gordo, arrested by the Mossos d'Esquadra.
The Mossos have led the investigation for more than a year, part of it initially instructed by the court of instruction 4 of Cornellà. The members of the GEI, the elite bodies, have broken into Mateo's home after six in the morning, followed from the sky by a drone. But the investigated was not at home, the same one in which he was already arrested more than a decade ago, also by the Catalan police. Police sources doubt that it is a tip, since a minor son of the suspect was on the floor.
At the same time, and half an hour away, the Mossos broke into the home of Francisco Pérez, 44, alias Paco el Gordo. In this case, they did find him in the house they searched for hours, as well as his car, parked at the door of an urbanization far from the center of the municipality of Santa Coloma de Cervelló (Barcelona). A year ago, the Catalan police arrested him in the bar on the ground floor of the building, where they pounced on him, accused of being one of the people who destroyed the bar of Los Cazadores, frequented in the past by ultras of Espanyol.
Los Casuals sowed terror in Barcelona's nightlife more than a decade ago. After a few years of some tranquility, and a conviction despite the fact that most witnesses against them backed down for alleged threats, they have recovered muscle, police sources say. Both in the ultra environment, as the most feared hooligans in Spain, and in the purely criminal world. Its leader, Ricardo Mateo, was arrested in 2010, tried and sentenced to 12 years in prison. In 2021, the National Police already acted against some members of the group.
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