British, Spanish police swoop on Majorca fraud ring
Spanish and British police arrested 17 people accused of conning Britons out of more than £50 million (57 million euros) in a fake investment sting based in Majorca, police said Friday.
Financial fraud officers from the City of London flew in to help Spain's national police break up the outfit, accused of preying on mostly British victims on the holiday island.
"Using aggressive telephone campaigns they offered products promising juicy profits but in reality they were fictitious," Spain's police said in a statement.
The victims sent their money to bank accounts that the fraudsters had opened with fake identities, it said. The money was then withdrawn in cash or sent abroad.
After a year and a half of investigations, police arrested 17 people this week, blocked accounts in 11 banks, searched five homes and raided the ring's main office in Palma de Majorca.
Investigators seized hundreds of lists of possible victims, manuals for snaring victims, banking documents, 23 laptops and 18 mobile telephones.
One of the mobile phones carried the luxury brand Vertu and could be worth 200,000 euros if it is shown to be geniune, a source close to the police investigation said.
© 2011 AFP