Ten arrested in police operation against Cadiz holiday scam criminal gang

Provisional prison for two of the five detainees in Granada shooting incident. Source: Guardia Civil

Ten arrested in a joint operation between the Guardia Civil and the Ertzaintza to break up a gang running a holiday scam in Cadiz

More than 300 people, many of them from the Basque Country, have been scammed by an international online plot that offered false accommodation and tourist packages in the province of Cadiz, as reported by the Guardia Civil this Friday 2.

In ‘Operation Cheat-Stay’, run jointly between the Guardia Civil and the Ertzaintza, ten people have been arrested: five in Madrid, two in Guipúzcoa, two in Malaga, and one in Sevilla, with at least another 20 people under investigation in Madrid, Andalucia, and the Basque Country.

Those arrested had made an estimated profit of more than €4 million, money which was then moved via vulnerable people whom they had contacted through adverts, who cleaned the money by putting it through their bank accounts.

Charges have been made against the detainees including crimes of aggravated fraud, belonging to a criminal organisation, money laundering, identity theft, and document falsification, with their main scams being those of offering cheap holiday rentals, the cloning of credit cards, and the fraudulent sale of holiday packages.

‘Operation Cheat-Stay’ was launched three years ago when the Guardia Civil detected a series of scams in holiday rentals, with each one having a common denominator that the homes offered were fraudulently advertised as located in different locations on the Cadiz coast.

When the Civil Guard and the Ertzaintza realised that their officers were investigating almost the same cases, they decided to form a joint operation, and they soon discovered that the scams were orchestrated by a perfectly hierarchical international organization, whose leader was known to be one of the top active hackers and was wanted by police forces in half of Europe.

The investigation is ongoing, with around 20 people being investigated, and the police are not ruling out more arrests, as reported by lavozdigital.es.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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