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International fraud gang arrested

Published on 07/05/2004

7 May 2004

MALAGA – Police smashed an international gang of fraudsters Friday who targeted Americans, Canadians and Swedes.

Fourteen Nigerians were arrested in Benalmadena, near Malaga in the Costa del Sol.

The gang targeted foreigners in a swindle which police believe netted them at least EUR 916,000.

They sent letters to potential victims informing them they had won an “important prize in a lottery”.

They set up bogus companies purporting to be based in various countries around the world with a number of different addresses.

The letters promised victims that they had won a “important quantity of money”.
They had to claim their prizes within a certain time or they would lose the money.

The fraudsters used pre-paid mobile phone numbers claiming they were the numbers of a “well-known company in Spain with a good reputation”.

The victims had to pay a part of their winnings into an “insurance company” which the gang explained would cover money transfer costs.

They promised the cash would be paid to a third person.

The investigation started last year after a series of complaints from victims in the United States, Canada and Sweden to Spanish embassies.

Victims also lived in other countries but these were not named by police.

Twenty police involved in the operation raided three houses and arrested 14 people and seized a series of documents which were used in the fraud.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news