18 Nov, 2021 @ 17:20
2 mins read

British gestor involved in mass fraud becomes ‘mayor’ of expat urbanisation on Spain’s Costa Blanca

Nombramiento Nuevos Pedáneos

A GESTOR who admitted responsibility for the arrest of British pensioners in a padron scandal is now a ‘Pedáneos Mayor’ covering a major expat urbanisation in the Orihuela municipality.

Matthew Smith, owner of One Way Services in Quesada, is also waiting for a day in court after the owner of his business premises denounced him for non-payment of rent for a year.

Nombramiento Nuevos Pedáneos
STANDING PROUD: Matt Smith (2nd left) with other Pedáneos Mayors appointed this week

The Olive Press has been contacted by readers concerned about the darts player’s apparent rise from humble translator to a major local political role.

The paper spoke exclusively with a number of elderly British expats that had used Smith’s services to apply for their TIE cards in 2020.

However, as the application process dragged into 2021, Smith and his colleagues allegedly doctored ‘blank’ padrons in order to facilitate residencia for the unsuspecting Brits.

One Way Services
NO RENT PAID FOR A YEAR: One Way Services in Quesada

The fraud was picked up by the Policia Nacional, who came to arrest the applicants, some of which told us they’d never previously been in a police station in their lives.

All of the victims interviewed by the Olive Press had been arrested, taken to Alicante Police Station, fingerprinted, detained and questioned.

However, when the common denominator was seen to be Quesada’s One Way Services, its owner Matt Smith was also taken in.

Through communications with David Guijarro Mayor from ABC solicitors, Smith’s own lawyer, we discovered that: “[Smith] explained [to the police] that none of the clients had produced the applications themselves [but] only paid my client to apply for the TIE on their behalf.”

VICTIMS: Lily Higgins, Brian Williams and Jane Long

His lawyer continued: “So it is totally clear now that the criminal investigation is being focused only against my client so for sure criminal actions will not start against his clients who are sadly affected.”

But this week, mayor Emilio Bascuñana, presented Smith and others as the newly-appointed Pedáneos Mayors and Neighborhood Mayors’ of Orihuela.

Consequently, Smith is now the uncontested mayor of the Entre Naranjos urbanisation, an area that includes the popular expat areas of Vistabella Golf and Laguna Green.

The Orihuela mayor implied that Smith and the other new mayors, “show great commitment to accept this new responsibility and I am convinced that they will do a great job to help their neighbors in their assigned areas of action.”

What is a pedáneos mayor?

In lay terms, a pedáneos mayor is the mayor of a neighbourhood or group of neighbourhoods, generally rural and of small size, located within a municipal term governed by another major locality. 

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