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Scammers who targeted elderly arrested

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Announcement of the operation and arrests
Credit: Mossos d’Esquadra X


Europol, the organisation that helps coordinate police activities across borders has just revealed that 54 Spanish phone fraudsters have been arrested.


Joint operation

This was a joint operation between the Spanish National Police,  Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalonia) and the Portuguese Judicial Police (Policía Judiciária) which culminated with raids across the Iberian Peninsula on June 4.


Investigators had discovered that at least 84 elderly victims had between them lost at least €2.5 million to these alleged criminals who started by calling them on the phone, pretending to be bank officials and then ended up on their doorsteps.


The fraudsters would take debit or credit cards , obtain PIN and bank details whilst in some cases, the criminals also forced their way into the victims’ homes, stealing cash and valuables such as jewellery.


Caught in flagrante delicto

Money that had been stolen was then transferred to different bank accounts in Portugal and Spain and on the day of the raids, one suspect was caught sitting in front of his computer with the bank details of one of his victims up on the screen.


As investigators closed in on the suspects and monitored their conversations, they heard them planning to use extreme violence as a last resort to rob the victims.


40 suspects were taken into custody in Spain, and three are being detained in Portugal whilst awaiting extradition to Spain.


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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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