UPDATE: Police successfully dismantle criminal gang scamming British Tourists in Tenerife


  • National Police
  • 03-01-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: Policia Nacional
UPDATE: Police successfully dismantle criminal gang scamming British Tourists in Tenerife

The National Police have successfully concluded the initial phase of an in-depth operation, in collaboration with Customs Surveillance, resulting in the dismantling of a criminal organization based in the south of Tenerife. A total of 33 alleged members of this organisation have been arrested, for defrauding of elderly foreign tourists primarily in Adeje and Arona.

At present, investigators have identified 1,805 victims from countries including the United Kingdom (over 800), Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Estonia, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Hungary, for an amount estimated to exceed four million euros.

Over 1,800 defrauded holidaymakers

The investigation dates back to 2022 when police became aware of the possible existence of a criminal organisation operating in the south of the island, scamming elderly foreign tourists through small stores selling electrical goods.

Members of the group, each with pre-established roles, targeted victims and offered them technological devices at a low cost. If the tourist accepted, they were taken to another shop within the organisation, which gathered information about where the victims were staying and when they were returning home.

UPDATE: Police successfully dismantle criminal gang scamming British Tourists in Tenerife

Under the pretext of configuring the devices and installing apps for them, they retained the purchased items and arranged to meet the victims to give them to them before their departure. At this point, once they were certain that the holidaymakers had left the island, they began making fraudulent charges on their credit cards through the POS terminals of a complex network of shops located in the south of Tenerife.

After a lengthy investigation, the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit officers dismantled the criminal organisation in July in a police operation involving over 100 agents from different units of the National Police.

So far, they have arrested 33 people for their alleged involvement in organised crime, money laundering, and fraud. They seized one million euros in cash during various raids, and blocked over a million euros distributed across more than 300 bank accounts and 42 real estate properties, as well as numerous pieces of jewellery and 17 luxury vehicles, one of which has a value of 160,000 euros.

The organisation's main leaders, five men of Indian nationality, were remanded in custody after appearing in court.

UPDATE: Police successfully dismantle criminal gang scamming British Tourists in Tenerife

EUROPOL

The National Police's investigation is ongoing, now in “asset recovery phase”, and it is not ruled out that new victims may be identified, leading to additional arrests.

Because of this, they have established channels of police cooperation with EUROPOL to collaborate with the security forces of the affected countries. This collaboration aims to contact the victims, provide them with advice during the process of reporting the criminal activities, assist them in legal proceedings, and compensate them for the economic damage they have suffered.

If you have been a victim of this crime, you can see more on Rip Off Britain on BBC1 this Friday (5th January) at 10.45am, or can contact the police directly via email on: [email protected].

However, if you feel that you don’t want to contact the police and require some assistance, you can contact us here at the Canarian Weekly on: [email protected]

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