Trial opens for eight Brits in holiday fraud scheme

Eight Britons accused of food poisoning fraud

Food poisoning fraud. Credit: Novikov Aleksey/

A case involving British nationals, who filed food poisoning accusations against hotels, has been heard in a courtroom in Mallorca.

On Tuesday, February 20, in Palma, Maria Perez, the judge at the investigative court number 2, opened the way for a trial by issuing an order, which cannot be appealed, against eight individuals implicated in a notorious holiday scam.

A plot unfolds

The scam involved defrauding several hotel owners in Mallorca, a tactic initially investigated by the prosecutor’s office, which has since concluded that the evidence against the accused is not compelling enough to proceed with accusations.

Despite this, the case has not dissolved into thin air, owing to the persistence of several businesses that were victims of the fraud. These companies allege that the scheme enticed guests at various hotels with a promise of compensation for supposed food poisoning, requiring only a pharmacy receipt as ‘proof’.

This led to travel agencies withholding payments to the hotels, something that has now reached the courts for a final judgment.

Legal battle looms

The claimants that are pressing charges include the Hotel Business Federation of Mallorca, AMLA Explotaciones Turistica, and Hoteles Mac.

They accuse the defendants of committing serious fraud and forming a criminal organisation, seeking prison sentences of up to eight years. Besides the main defendants allegedly behind the scheme, others have been accused of recruiting holidaymakers to take part in the deceit, these too will also face the court.

A couple of British tourists who went through with the scam have already been convicted in England, highlighting the serious implications.

The court has also set a considerable bail of €1 million for the accused, a sum that underscores the gravity of the charges laid against them.

This trial not only signifies a critical step towards justice for the affected hoteliers but also serves as a warning against fraudulent holiday schemes.

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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.