Six held in real estate intimidation scam

LAST UPDATED: 18 Nov, 2011 @ 10:27
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POLICE in Granada have arrested the owner of an apartment block who forcibly tried to throw an elderly married couple out of their home.

The couple – who have been living in the same first floor apartment for 35 years on a fixed rent contract of 58 euros a month – claim the owner wanted to evict them so she could either let the property at a much higher price or sell the block to a construction company.

Two lawyers and the manager of an estate agents were also detained.

The couple allege they were subjected to verbal abuse and harassment by a gang of up to 30 Romanians, who were living in one apartment of the third floor of the block on Callejón del Angel.

Police are investigating claims the gang, two of whom were also held, are part of a network dedicated to forcing people who live in prime locations of a town or city to leave their homes. The apartment block is metres away from the congress palace in the centre of the Granada.

Since the 30 moved into block two years ago, ten other residents have left complaining of being physically attacked, intimidated and abused by the gang.

The only remaining residents are the elderly couple and a neighbour, who is also on a fixed rent contract.

The six were later released with charges pending further investigation.

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