Gang in Gran Canaria scammed 50,000 euros selling false driving licences

2020/10/17 17:26:29 Written by Canarian Weekly Gran Canaria

The Guardia Civil in Alicante has uncovered a scam of more than 50,000 euros through the sale of false driving licenses, in which there are at least 40 victims in different parts of Spain, and found that five members of its organisation were based in the municipality of Telde in Gran Canaria.

The amounts requested by the organization, in exchange for the driver's license processed through internet platforms, ranged between 800 and 3,000 euros each, according to a statement from the armed institute, which also said that so far they have arrested two men and are investigating another four as alleged perpetrators of the crimes of fraud, forgery of documents and belonging to a criminal group.

Within the framework of the operation called “Puilecillo”, 40 victims have been located throughout the Spanish territoryy, who have paid over 50,000 euros to the scammers, although the investigation continues, at the expense of the appearance of new victims.

The detainees, two men of Spanish nationality, aged 22 and 47, and those investigated, four men aged 27, 35, 53 and 57, promised to obtain fully valid driving licenses, in exchange for money.

The investigation began in July 2019, as a result of a complaint filed by an individual, who had been scammed after requesting to obtain a driving license through an advertisement on a website. Apparently, the driving license would be validated and legal, without the need to take a driving test, or in the case of doing so, the result wouldn’t matter.

To carry out the procedure, it was necessary to send them a photocopy of their DNI, two photographs, a blank paper with your signature on it, and most importantly, an amount of money that could be to 2,300 euros.

All communications were made, through a well-known instant messaging application, with a person who claimed to reside in Telde (Gran Canaria), but when the  license was late in arriving, the calls were answered by his "boss", who reassured them by saying that the process was still legal, although there were certain difficulties because customs had withheld some documents, and that more money had to be paid to unblock them.

The income of the money was always made to two bank accounts, through transfers or ATMs, without any reference to identity appearing in them, with the intention of making the police investigation more difficult, and by the time victims found out about the scam, it was too late to get their money back.

After numerous analyses of bank accounts and documentation, the investigators managed to determine that behind the scam there was a perfectly defined criminal structure, made up of six people. Five of them, residents in Telde (Gran Canaria), and another in the Línea de la Concepción (Cádiz).

More than 600 advertisements with similar content have been detected in which they advertised their services, and the detainees used 200 different email addresses, also with the aim of leaving the least possible trace, and diverting the police.

This operation has been directed by the Judicial Police Team of the Guardia Civil of Santa Pola (Alicante), in collaboration with the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) and the Territorial Team of San Roque-La Línea, of the Command of Algeciras (Cádiz).