€500,000 swindle in Spain

Image of a hepatitis cell. Credit: Creative Commons

NATIONAL POLICE in Madrid have detained three people under suspicion of swindling €500,000 using fake credit cards in luxury goods shops.

The three detainees were all visiting Spain posing as tourists and buying objects in top-of-the-range shops in order to sell the items on returning home to their countries of origin.

The three detained are two men and a woman, all between the ages of 27 and 33 and all from Venezuela. They are also under suspicion of being connected to an international criminal gang with branches in the USA and Venezuela.

Investigations have revealed that the three had been coming and going from Spain since early 2013 and had conned shops out of approximately €578,000.

The items were taken out of Spain legally and, on exiting the country, the members of the gang would opt for the tax-back option therefore making even more money – approximately another €19,000 was gained in this manner.

Investigations began when a formal complaint was made to the National Police in Madrid about a couple which had been buying expensive, luxury items with fake cards. Further investigations identified the three suspects and revealed their travel plans which took them from Madrid to Marbella and then on to Barcelona before leaving the country again.

A surveillance operation was put in place and the next time the three people entered the country they were arrested at the airport. At the time of their arrest the three suspects had five credit cards on them, all, allegedly, fake. They also had with them five watches, four of which were valued at more than €30,000, 49 top-of-the-range mobile phones valued at around €500 each, a laptop, a tablet, luxury branded clothes and other goods, all bought in Spain.

Police investigations into the matter are ongoing.

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