A GANG has been arrested by the Guardia Civil in the Torrevieja area for fleecing at least €10 million from investors looking for high returns from a share investment scheme.
Around 250 people are said to have been conned in a comprehensive money laundering and fraud operation.
Some eight people were detained in Operation Torself with seven others still under investigation.
Charges include fraud, faking documents, money laundering and belonging to a criminal gang.
Guardia agents raided addresses in Torrevieja, Callosa de Segura, and Redován as well as locations further afield in Murcia City and Sucina.
One of the places visited by Guardia agents was an address on an undisclosed Torrevieja urbanisation which the gang used as a head office.
Operation Torself started in February 2019 when a Madrid bank complained that accounts were being used illegally, with a single account laundering €1.5 million.
The leader of the operation used money contributed by ‘investors’ to invest in shares, with contributors promised high returns of interest of up to 30% per month.
They were hooked into the scheme by getting their first few payouts, but then the money tap turned dry.
The Guardia said that some of the people put so much cash into the scheme that they got heavily into debt.
A number of the victims even recruited new investors in the hope they might claw something back from their original payout by getting some commission.
A number were forced to take out loans and one woman got into debt to the tune of €1 million.
The gang even offered some angry clients the chance to negotiate a 10% refund of their investment in order to stop their activities being denounced.
Some 43 bank accounts were blocked and large amounts of money were seized by the Guardia during their raids, which happened on an undisclosed date.
That included over €50,000 that was stashed in a baby’s pushchair at the gang leader’s home.
No nationalities of those arrested or being investigated by the Guardia Civil have been made public.
Were you ripped off by this scheme or something similar?
The Olive Press would like to hear from you about your experience.