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25 members of the Casuals, a group of Barcelona ultras, were arrested. NACHO DOCE / REUTERS
25 members of the Casuals, a group of Barcelona ultras, were arrested by the Catalan police.
Catalan police announced on Friday that they had arrested 25 members of the Casuals, the most violent faction of FC Barcelona’s ultra supporters, suspected of belonging to a criminal network at the origin of multiple trafficking and violence.
This operation, carried out on Friday at dawn in Barcelona and in various other municipalities in Catalonia, led to the seizure of five firearms, cannabis and 180,000 euros in cash, said in a press release the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan regional police.
Camp Nou. ALBERT GEA/AI/Reuters/Panoramic
The detainees, arrested as part of an investigation by a Barcelona judge, are all members of the Casuals, “the most violent faction of the Boixos Nois“, a group of supporters of the Barca deemed dangerous and far-right, the statement said.
According to the police, they are suspected of “cultivation and trafficking of marijuana, threats, injuries, extortion, public disorder in the context of sport“, but also of”homicide” and D’”removal“, all within the framework of a “criminal organization“.
A fight with fans of rival Espanyol Barcelona as the trigger
The investigation began last November after a violent attack which injured several people in a bar frequented by radical supporters of Espanyol, Barça’s historic rival in Barcelona, following which six people had been identified.
The information collected during the survey showed that the latter “were part of a structured criminal organization with marked leadership, based in Catalan territory”, known “as Casuals“, details the press release.
Cocaine trafficking, threats…
The Casuals, and more broadly the Boixos Nois, banned from the stadium by FC Barcelona, have already been targeted by several police operations in recent years. In 2018, 14 of them were arrested for cocaine trafficking.
The Boixos Nois had in the past threatened the president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, with graffiti on his home, after the club implemented a strategy to marginalize these radical supporters, expelled from Camp Nou, the stadium of the FC Barcelona.