TWO Russian interpreters have been arrested in Alicante for defrauding vulnerable Ukrainian refugees.

The mother and daughter were detained by the Policia Nacional who say they scammed a total of €5,000.

The women snared their victims in queues at Costa Blanca police stations formed by refugees who were obtaining Spanish residency permits.

The duo spun a yarn that they were employed by the police.

They falsely claimed they could speed up the processing of documentation in exchange for cash.

Adults were charged €250 each and children were billed at €150 per head.

The Russians had worked as official interpreters for a company for some years.

Since they were fully aware of all residency procedures, they were convincing in their patter to the refugees.

The scam did not end with obtaining money from victims.

If anybody thought they had been conned and demanded a refund, the interpreters threatened them.

They claimed to have the ability to annul their status and to void any newly-obtained documents.

The threats worked and no refugee made a complaint.

The Russian duo have been charged with crimes of fraud, threats and coercion.

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