AN estate agent has vanished leaving dozens of expats up to a million euros out of pocket.
Dutch realtor Annika Elena van der Pluijm is alleged to have taken deposits of at least €750,000 on properties before disappearing with the money.
The group of mostly Dutch and British buyers have now been forced to take legal action after the company office, in Almanzora, Almeria, closed without warning.
They have also launched a Facebook page ‘Catch these scammers’ in a bid to locate van der Pluijm, who has also been using the name Ana Sanchez.
Victims of her agency Inmobiliaria Partaloa told the Olive Press that ‘at least six’ official denuncias have been filed with police so far.
One British victim, who asked not to be named, insisted they would ‘not rest until she is caught’.
“She has ruined so many lives,” said the 55-year-old, who is currently renting in nearby Cuevas de Almanzora. “So many of us have lost our savings to this scam.”
He has lost €9,500, while the group together has lost over €750,000.
“And more and more victims keep coming forward so we expect it to go up rapidly,” he continued. “We are set to launch a joint action against Annika shortly.”
The Olive Press has discovered that Ana’s German husband Thomas van der Pluijm – AKA Thomas Dollekes – has also not been seen since the end of January.
Both he and the couple’s two young sons and her parents have all vacated the big rural property they were sharing in La Hoya, near Cantoria.
Over a dozen Presa Canario dogs, which they breed, have also been removed from the property.
The couple are understood to have ‘business interests’ in France and Hungary with group members believing she has skipped the country.
Ironically, Van der Pluijm publicly supported our K.O. the Kickbacks campaign to stop the practice of backhanders being taken between lawyers and agents, declaring herself as an
‘ethical estate agent’.
However, when the Olive Press attempted to contact her this week she failed to respond to emails and her phone was switched off.