Spain's most wanted fugitive ran meals and errands for old ladies in the neighborhood
Manuel Bellido,
Manuel Bellido, “the largest currency counterfeiter in Spain”, is transferred by agents of the National Police after being arrested in Madrid.

the lolo, as he is known in the San Blas district of Madrid, moved in with his two daughters at number 1 Tapicería street eight years ago. He had been in jail because they had caught him in 2014, along with his wife, giving out fake dollars and 50-euro bills manufactured by Rafael Velasco —the Pharaoh counterfeit banknotes—in his chalet in a residential area in Bargas (Toledo). It is the first news that the Police have of Manuel Bellido Moreno, 46 ​​years old. Later, he had been released pending trial and had gone to Cambados (Galicia) to work irregularly as an upholsterer. After completely breaking up with his wife, he returned to Madrid at the end of 2014, according to his lawyer. And a year later a police operation of the Investigation Brigade of the Bank of Spain (BIBE) began, after detecting fake 50-euro bills “very similar to those they made with the Injet and Lasser printers in Toledo,” says one of the researchers. of that unit.

The same researcher recalls that in 2015 “a good number of people linked to that organization (computer experts, graphic arts specialists…) were arrested, but he was the ideologue, who managed to escape.” That was how Bellido, El Lolo, he became one of the most wanted fugitives in Spain. And, over the years, he also became one of the most beloved neighbors in the San Blas neighborhood.

Manuel Bellido Moreno was sentenced in a final sentence to a sentence of nine years in prison for the crime of issuing and distributing counterfeit currency
Manuel Bellido Moreno was sentenced in a final sentence to a sentence of nine years in prison for the crime of issuing and distributing counterfeit currency

“He was sentenced in a final sentence to a sentence of nine years in prison for the crime of issuing and distributing counterfeit currency. He is considered the biggest currency counterfeiter in Spain, and is accused of being a member of a criminal organization dedicated to counterfeiting high-value bills. Bellido could have been in charge of distributing it throughout Spain during the year 2013. He is 46 years old, two meters tall, and has brown skin and dark eyes. He has easy access to items to falsify documentation, credit cards and traveler’s checks, among others, which makes his identification difficult”. It was the description that the Police gave of him in the list of the 10 most wanted criminals published last Monday -Bellido was the one who had been persecuted the longest- and that appealed to citizen collaboration to locate them. Bingo.

A woman recognized him in the photo that was published, despite the fact that he was much balder and slightly heavier, and went to an agent from the Madrid Metro Mobile Brigade and provided his address details. There he was arrested last Wednesday afternoon, in the midst of a general uproar. Agents from the Prevention and Reaction Units (UPR) of the National Police even had to intervene because the neighbors began to throw objects at the agents to prevent them from taking him away. They love Lolo very much in that neighborhood of low buildings, and streets and squares intertwined with the names of old trades (Sillery, Cabinetry, Upholstery…), all the work that the most wanted fugitive in Spain did for his neighbors.

“He fixed furniture, upholstered chairs, assembled things and earned money that way,” they remember in the square next to their house. “In a pandemic, for example, he dedicated himself to shopping for older women who were alone and running errands for bars and restaurants in the area,” he says. In The Corner of Sanabria, the place where he had breakfast every day, they remember him as “a lifelong customer, friendly and normal, who had been here for a long time”. Same thing at the barber shop below his house. “In addition, he made meals to order and prepared birthday cakes for the children of the neighborhood,” they assure him.

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The banknotes seized by the police in the chalet of the Bargas urbanization (Toledo).
The banknotes seized by the police in the chalet of the Bargas urbanization (Toledo).

However, just 11 kilometers and 15 minutes from there, the agents of the Fugitive group of the National Police speak of him as a “slippery” criminal. “For a while we were touching his environment, but by breaking ties with the woman he became much more opaque, he did not work legally, he had nothing in his name, he was very careful, paranoid about security measures, which allowed him to hide. ”, say those who believe that he learned the printing and counterfeiting techniques of the Pharaoh and applied them again later until producing “tens of thousands of euros” false. According to the agents, his community, of gypsy ethnicity, is very hermetic and has family branches throughout the country, documents are exchanged (when they are not falsified), and these are things that make work very difficult, ”they explain. Bellido’s case “was in dry dock, that’s why we chose to put it on the most wanted list,” they justify.

Manuel Bellido Moreno, El Lolo, entered the Soto del Real prison this Thursday, 10 years after his alleged escape, as “the largest currency counterfeiter in Spain”, leaving a certain orphanhood in the neighborhood in which he had been integrated .

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