Spanish police arrested 13 people in the region of Catalonia and Madrid for their alleged involvement in planning a vote to secede from Spain, the boldest move yet by Spanish authorities to stop the Oct. 1 ballot.

Early Wednesday morning, Spain’s Civil Guard police forces searched 22 properties, including offices of Catalonia’s regional administration in Barcelona, and arrested an official in charge of the region’s economy, Josep Maria Jové, according to a spokesman for the Catalan government.

Twelve others, most of whom are regional government officials, were also arrested on suspicion of abetting the organization of the unauthorized independence referendum, according to a police spokesman. One of those arrested was detained in Madrid.

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