Spain arrests 60 for conning British timeshare owners
Spanish police said Tuesday they arrested 60 people accused of conning hundreds of British timeshare owners out of their cash.
The gang tricked 500 people into paying supposed handling fees after offering an irresistible price to buy their timeshare holiday homes, a police statement said.
Police arrested the 60 suspects in Malaga on Spain's southern Costa del Sol and seized cash and real estate worth about a million euros (dollars) overall.
The group telephoned timeshare owners "offering to buy at a very attractive price and saying that handling fees were involved", it said.
Using front companies and dummy bank accounts, "they asked victims to pay the handling fees in advance, but the purchase never went ahead, nor were the fees returned."
In some cases gang members even carried on the scam by posing as lawyers offering to help bring the fraudsters to justice.
Police detained the suspected leaders of the racket who are accused of laundering the proceeds.
Also among the 60 people arrested were those who made the phone calls and others who held the dummy bank accounts and companies.
Officers also seized 78 bank accounts, a boat and other vehicles along with computers and a money-counting machine.
© 2015 AFP