Spanish police detain 25 suspects in timeshare fraud scam

17th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spanish police have detained 25 people suspected of taking part in a 10 million euro fraud scheme that targeted German owners of timeshare holiday properties on Spain's Canary Islands, the interior ministry said Friday.

The suspects offered the timeshare owners generous amounts of money to buy their shares but demanded payment of what turned out to be non-existent fees before the deal could be completed, it said in a statement.

"The sale of the timeshare would not take place and the scammers would disappear with the money that was advanced by the victims through bank transfers or money wiring services," the ministry said.

With help from the German embassy in Madrid, Spanish police were able to identify more than 2,000 victims of the scam.

One suspect was detained on the island of Gran Canaria while the rest were arrested on Tenerife, one of the largest of the seven islands that make up the Canary archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.

© 2010 AFP

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