Spain detains Chinese fugitive wanted for real estate scam
Spanish police said Wednesday they have detained a Chinese man wanted for allegedly selling homes in China which were never built to more than 10,000 families in a scam worth over 24.5 million euros ($33 million).
Police arrested the unidentified man in central Madrid under an international warrant issued by Interpol at the request of Chinese authorities, police said in a statement.
"More than 10,000 families invested their savings in the acquisition of homes which were never built," police said.
Most of the victims of the suspected fraud, which was carried out between 2011 and 2013, were from Baotou, an industrial city in northern China.
Police said the man, who was president of the unnamed company, is suspected of charging cash advances for the properties as well as falsifying signatures on contracts and using fake property certificates in the deals.
Prosecutors in Baotou issued an arrest order for the man in September 2013.
The suspect had fled China for Thailand in June of that year. From Thailand he moved to The Netherlands, then Italy before settling in Spain.
Police said they have requested that the man's real estate holdings in the town of Otura in southern Spain be placed under embargo.
The operation was carried out in cooperation with authorities in China, Japan and South Korea.
© 2014 AFP