Police Expose Malaga Squatting Scam

Human Trafficking Gang Dismantled By Spanish Police

Policia Nacional. Image: Formatoriginal Shutterstock.com

Police in Malaga have uncovered a gang that operated a squatting scam, renting out properties and robbing tenants if they failed to pay.

Officers from the Policia Nacional have arrested six people in Malaga, four men and two women, following Operation Postigo, according to OK Diario, Thursday, July 13.

Squatting Scam

The highly organised gang appropriated homes and subsequently, rented out the properties and robbed the tenants if they did not pay what was agreed. The suspects are accused of robbery, theft, drug trafficking and electricity fraud.

Four of them were engaged in squatting homes that they later refurbished and rented out. If the tenants failed to pay the agreed rent, the gang entered the property and took payment, cash or belongings, by force. The other two detainees had the job of moving on the stolen goods, according to a statement from the Police.

During the investigation, it also transpired that two of them lived in a squatted house where they had set up a marijuana factory.

In the searches carried out, the officers seized 103 cannabis plants, 115 grams of hashish, €9,335, eight watches, 10 mobile phones, several pieces of gold, more than 50 security keys, high-end bags, clothes and other belongings.

Suspicions were raised when investigators at the Malaga Provincial Police Station, noticed specific similarities after a series of burglaries. It appears that the thieves always stole technological material and cash. It was through the illegal use of one of these stolen devices that led investigators to identify one of the alleged perpetrators of the burglaries.

At this time, one of the victims who was living as a squatter and paying rent filed a complaint to the police which provided conclusive evidence to the investigators.

Officers confirmed that the person responsible for the burglary was the same person who gave the complainant access to the property.

Scammers Brought To Justice

The four burglary suspects were eventually identified, and links to the crimes were established. One detail was the selection of homes, which in most cases were owned by banking entities. The suspects would then change the locks and arrange for illegal hookups for electricity and water.

On June 15, police were authorised to carry out the appropriate arrests and house searches that resulted in the arrest of six people, four men and two women. The various charges included theft with force at home, drug trafficking, theft and fraud of electricity.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.

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