By Joshua Manning • 24 August 2022 • 9:47
Guardia Civil bust gang for extorting holiday home owners in Alicante, Spain Credit: Guardia Civil
The operation began when the Guardia Civil became aware of a holiday home owner in Alicante, Spain, who was being extorted by the guests of his holiday home, who had occupied the property and were demanding €14,000.
During the course of the investigation, the officers discovered that this was not an isolated case, but rather a scheme.
The gang located holiday homes for short term rentals and contacted the owners posing as a family interested in spending a weekend or several days.
Once they occupied the property, they refused to leave or to pay any fees for the use of the property. They then threatened the owners in exchange for very large sums of money, telling them that if they paid them, they would leave and their house would not be damaged.
In the presence of the homeowners, the gang members would smash the furniture to intimidate them.
However, even when they agreed to the extortion, the perpetrators would not leave. The gang managed to appropriate €62,000 from the victims.
The leader of the gang was the one who made contact with the owners and received the keys. She made a verbal contract with them.
Later, when it was time to leave the property, she claimed that she had rented it for a longer period. It was then the turn of her husband, one of the main perpetrators of the threats and extortions.
The houses were constantly occupied by the members of the group who in turn gave them to other family members, ensuring that there were always people in the houses to avoid being evicted.
They are charged with fraud, misappropriation, extortion, damage and membership of a criminal group.
They have been handed over to the Juzgado de Instrucción number 2 in Villajoyosa, which has ordered the imprisonment of four of the main members of the gang.
The news of the gang being busted for extorting holiday home owners in Alicante, Spain, follows reports of the Guardia Civil seizing 200kg of cocaine hidden on Brazil-Lisbon carrier ship.
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Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and 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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