updated 10/18/2007 8:08:49 PM ET 2007-10-19T00:08:49

Spanish investigators arrested 20 Moroccans suspected of stealing hundreds of electricity-generating solar panels worth $2.14 million and sending them to be sold in North Africa, police said Thursday.

The suspects are accused of taking about 2,000 solar panels and shipping them to Morocco aboard ferries.

An investigation began in April when 238 panels were stolen from two solar power parks in the northern province of Palencia, a police statement said. Many Spanish cities, especially in the country's south, boost electricity generation through the use of solar parks.

Police said the suspects were believed to have used violence during some of their heists.

Several more gang members were thought to be on the run, and international warrants have been issued for their arrest, the statement said.

The statement did not make clear when the arrests took place.

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