It has been reported that dozens were detained over a timeshare scam that involved 500 British people, all were conned out of their life savings in this multi-million-pound Costa del Sol racket.
It has been estimated that this racket alone conned people out of more than £15 million pounds. To date 36 people have been arrested who police believe are to be involved within this multi-million-pound Costa del Sol timeshare scam which has targeted hundreds. The scam was operated from Malaga in Spain. Sadly, an estimated 500 people, all Brits have been duped.
Police say they believe those affected were deceived out of an estimated £15 million and the accused made a staggering profit of approximately £11 million. The investigation is continuing, and the number of people duped is expected to increase.
Investigators and Malaga-based central government councils exposed specifics of the timeshare fraud op at a press conference in the Costa del Sol capital earlier this month.
A police spokesman said: “National Police officers have smashed a criminal organisation based in the province of Malaga specialising in timeshare fraud. “Thirty-six people have been arrested, and another placed under formal investigation but not arrested, on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, forgery and membership of a criminal organisation.”
The spokesman added: “Among those detained are the alleged ringleader, a British man, and two lawyers believed to have been responsible for the money laundering. “The suspects offered their customers, all British and timeshare owners, a timeshare holiday product.”
During the raid more than £100,000 in cash was found, four top of the range vehicles, one been a Ferrari, gemstones and 10 designer watches, all where seized during the raids, the raids where held at one of a lawyer’s offices and the Head Quarters of the actual company which is based on the coastal city of Velez-Malaga east of Malaga. A yacht was also confiscated at a different location.
The operation was set in place after police were asked to act on a formal complaint filed by a lawyer acting for more than 30 British who confirmed they had all fallen victim to a timeshare scam.
Spain’s National Police said in a statement: “Initial inquiries were made to determine the place the firm was operating from and resulted in the identification of three companies the fraudulent activity was being conducted from.
“Police discovered a criminal network composed mainly of six people, namely the main suspect and intellectual author, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law, plus two lawyers suspected of being in charge of the money laundering part of the business and an additional 30 accomplices.
“The suspects contacted potential victims, all timeshare owners and all British, and offered them the possibility of acquiring a holiday package as well as selling their timeshare to other possible buyers. “To start the ball rolling, and buy or sell the holiday package, they would ask their victims for a sum of money they termed a deposit. “After reaching an agreement with the victims, they would dupe them into making bank transfers. “They realised after the sale or purchase didn’t go through that they had been duped.”
During the seize officers also found thousands of documents relating to the claimants. All those arrested have been detained in custody. Police say the fraudsters used fake documentation to pose as legitimate businessmen who also employed accomplices who would try to dupe victims who had already been left out of pocket by claiming they could help them get their money back.
All those arrested have appeared before an investigating judge in private court hearings and the suspected ringleader remanded in custody. The rest continue to be probed as part of an ongoing judicial investigation. No-one has been formally charged as is normal in Spain where charges are only laid shortly before trial.
Police did not name any of the suspects at the press conference.
It is believed that each victim will be paid between the compensation of around £550 and £2,700.
Miguel Briones, a Malaga-based central government spokesman, said police had “flexed their muscle” and this has sent an important message to the British community and the tourist sector that the Spanish authorities were there to help protect them from criminals.
If you would like more information on this article, call the Timeshare Consumer Association today on 02035 193 808.
See our recent post regarding operation Tidworth.
Posted on: September 24, 2018
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk