Fourteen people were arrested in Madrid and the central city of Toledo in possession of large amounts of copper wire, Spain's Civil Guard said Monday.

The group was made up of citizens of Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian and Colombian origin, some of whom were former workers at a telephone company.

Civil Guard officers seized a truck loaded with 25 tons of copper wiring and ready to travel to the Dutch port of Rotterdam, six other vehicles - three luxury cars, two vans and a motorcycle - and a professional wire processing machine.

To steal the wire, the group used uniforms and vehicles with the logos of the telephone company some of them had worked for and acted as if they were employees to gain access to underground passageways so they could remove and cut up the wiring. EFE