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The Mossos decapitate for the second time in a decade the Casuals, the most violent 'ultras' of Barça


Highlights: Catalan police accuse the organization, with an iron structure, of homicides, kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking. In total, 25 people of the 44 who had been targeted in the 17 entries and searches practiced throughout the Barcelona area. The leader of the Casuals, Paco el Gordo, must now decide whether to surrender to the police. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2013 after an operation of the Mossos d'Esquire similar to that of this Friday.

Catalan police accuse the organization, with an iron structure, of homicides, kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking

One of the records of the Mossos against the Casuals, in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat.Albert Garcia

The Mossos d'Esquadra returned yesterday to a well-known place: the house of Ricardo Mateo, in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. Mateo is the historic and incontestable leader of the Casuals, the most violent ultras of FC Barcelona who left the stands of the Camp Nou to become a criminal organization. They were beheaded in 2010, but persisted in their criminal endeavor. This Friday they have again received a hard blow. The police arrested the leaders of the gang and several of their soldiers: in total, 25 people of the 44 who had been targeted in the 17 entries and searches practiced throughout the Barcelona area. Police accuse them of homicides, kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking. Matthew, by the way, was not at home.

The leader of the Casuals must now decide whether to surrender to the police. He knows without a doubt that they are looking for him after the Special Intervention Groups (GEI) broke down the door of his house. They place him in the most violent and dangerous branch of the Boixos Nois, with an ultra facet and a merely criminal one. Mateo directed the organization with an iron fist from prison: in 2013 he was sentenced to 12 years in prison after an operation of the Mossos d'Esquadra similar to that of this Friday and for similar crimes, including extortion of nightlife entrepreneurs.

The Catalan police consider the Casuals one of the most dangerous criminal organizations based in Catalonia. For years it has extorted businessmen and trafficked drugs and is even linked to homicides, according to the investigation. One of the arrested soldiers, Francisco Pérez, alias Paco el Gordo, became famous a few weeks ago for an audio message in which he threatened to stab an Espanyol ultra who jumped onto the field in the derby against Barça, if a fan tattoo was not erased. Counting yesterday, Paco el Gordo has been arrested three times in less than two years: in 2021, by the National Police, and in May 2022, by the Mossos accused of destroying, with two more people, a bar frequented years ago by the Blue and White Brigades of Espanyol.

The attack on the premises Los Cazadores is the starting point of the investigation, which began in November 2021, supervised by the court of instruction 4 of Cornellà. First at the hands of the General Information Commissariat, and then together with the Criminal Investigation Division, the Catalan police were unraveling the way of functioning of the Casuals, in an operation baptized as Hydra, a snake of a thousand heads according to Greek mythology. With telephone interventions and follow-ups, investigators have struggled to demonstrate an endless list of crimes: public disorder, homicide, kidnapping, possession of weapons, against public health, extortion and criminal organization, among others.

The investigation even led them to uncover a homicide in Barcelona, of which they suspect that the Casuals are cover-ups. On the night of March 9, the Mossos d'Esquadra chased and stopped a vehicle leaving the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona. After searching, they found a dead person in the trunk of the van they stopped in the heart of the city, on Via Augusta with Avinguda de Diagonal. The main suspicion, in a case investigated by another court, is that these are clans with links to the Casuals and a drug transaction that ended with the death of one of those involved. The phones also speak of another execution, that of the brother of El Sardina, a known drug trafficker, in Badia del Vallès, where the violent mark of the Boixos Nois again comes to light.

The Mossos d'Esquadra, finally supervised by the court of instruction 12 of Barcelona, have discovered a tangle of cases that overlap, police sources explain, within a closed club, which in addition to financing itself with the activity of the criminal group, also did so in the heat of the stands of Barça. With access to the Camp Nou vetoed for many of them, their ascendancy is unequivocal among the nearly 300 members of the Boixos Nois, where they impose sanctions and fines, which can exceed 3,000 and 4,000 euros. "They don't go beyond football," police sources say. Paco el Gordo is the protagonist of another of the viral conversations after the attack on the bar of Los Cazadores. "You are turning a football thing into a war in the street and in the end we will really hurt you. You are a hobby and we are criminals," he is heard in the recording.

The atmosphere yesterday at the home of Paco el Gordo, in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, was tense. In the basement of the building, registered for several hours by the Mossos, the bar was open where neighbors were passing and remembered the previous arrest of Paco. On the road signs of the surroundings abounded stickers of the Boixos Nois, some with the eagle that Nazism used as an emblem. An urbanization far from the center of the municipality, where they saw the alleged soldier of Los Casuals, protagonist of other public exhibitions of hooliganism, change every two by three cars in another viral video.

The Mossos found yesterday in the records 180,000 euros in cash, five firearms, catanas, knives, machetes, bulletproof vests ... And several high-end cars and watches that the police consider to be of illicit origin. The Catalan police kept the police operation open late yesterday, in search of others investigated. And waiting for if Ricardo Mateo finally appears at the police station or in court.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-06-10

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