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Criminal gang that scammed holiday property renters arrested


A criminal gang that operated a scam involving vacation real estate properties in Torrevieja Spain has been dismantled by the police

The National Police have dismantled a gang dedicated to vacation real estate scams in Torrevieja. Among the victims of this criminal group were Spanish citizens, but there were also victims from Germany, Algeria, Colombia, Ecuador, Poland and Ukraine.

The agents detected during the months of February and March an increase in the number of complaints related to scams linked to properties offered in the tourist municipality. Thus, with the aim of clarifying the reasons for this increase and identifying the fraudsters, the Investigation area of ​​the town’s main post began the “Mesekito” operation.

In the first phase of the investigation, the modus operandi of the alleged perpetrators was studied, which was similar in the majority of the complaints analyzed. These individuals used website platforms dedicated to real estate rentals to request payments by bank transfer or cash, offering properties that they did not own.

After receiving the payment, the scammers disappeared without a trace, without handing over the property and without refunding the sums paid. Furthermore, to gain the trust of the victims, they did not hesitate to impersonate real estate agencies. The picture below: over 10,000 euros in cash was seized in the raid.

Subsequently, the agents carried out a thorough analysis of the bank accounts involved in these crimes, which allowed the members of the gang to be identified. They were three Spanish citizens, two men and a woman, between the ages of 42 and 63, some of them with a history of similar acts. Once the participation of the suspects in some of the crimes investigated was proven, on May 23, three simultaneous searches were carried out at the homes of those involved in Torrevieja, with the support of the Citizen Security Unit (Usecic) of the Alicante Command.

During this operation, bank documentation, material related to the impersonated real estate companies, transfer documents made, mobile phones, more than 10,000 euros in cash, eight motor vehicles, eight properties, a pension plan and 16 bank accounts used by the gang were seized.

The suspects were detained on site and placed at the disposal of the Investigative Court number 2 of the judicial district of Torrevieja, which has ordered their release with precautionary measures. A court order from Germany After these actions, the agents did not end the operation, and in the month of July, they received a European court order from the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Freiburg (Germany) for a scam related to the dismantled gang where they had defrauded 4,000 euros from a German couple.

In total, 29 fraud crimes have been clarified in which the victims came from Germany, Algeria, Colombia, Ecuador, Poland, Ukraine and Spain. However, the Civil Guard has not yet concluded the operation, since there is still documentation to be analyzed, and it is not ruled out that the number of detainees and victims could increase.

Read more about the non-existent holiday rental scams:

Holiday Nightmare: Family Lands in Alicante Only to Discover Booked Villa Nonexistent

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