Spanish police say they have smashed Banksy fakes ring

Spanish police say they have smashed Banksy fakes ring

Police in Catalonia have said they have dismantled an entire ring producing and selling forgeries of Banksy works across Europe and the US.

Catalonia's regional police force said in a statement that officers arrested two people in the north-eastern Spanish city of Zaragoza, where the fakes were allegedly made, and two others suspected of having put the works on sale.

The ring allegedly sold at least 25 works made with spray paint on cardboard, in specialised shops, Barcelona auction houses and online to customers in Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, Spain and the US.

Works were allegedly sold with price tags as high as €1,500 per work.

Police say they discovered the network selling off the fake artworks in July last year after several similar Banksy works became available for sale at the same time online.

Authorities said in a statement the investigation remains open and more victims and new arrests have not been ruled out.