A nationwide scam left an unnamed mobile phone operator in Spain out of pocket by over €240,000.
The firm was tricked by a gang using fake bank and credit cards.
40 people have been arrested by the Policia Nacional in Barcelona, Cadiz, Huelva, Madrid, and Sevilla.
The hub of the criminal enterprise was in the Villa de Vallecas district of Madrid with a house raid recovering 55 mobile phones, tablets, laptops and consoles.
€55,000 in cash was discovered hidden in furniture around the property.
The bogus bank and credit cards were acquired via the ‘dark web’.
109 mobile phone purchases went through with the provider .
Units were then resold online via a fictitious company with accounts linked to popular sales platforms.
Around 100 other items were also bought for re-sale.
The criminals split their operation into two, with some of them concentrating on getting hold of the fake cards and then using them to buy the phones and other electrical gear.
The rest of the crew went round to the defrauded company’s stores in the Madrid area to pick up the purchased units.
Such was the success of the fraud, the group spread out their operation to other parts of Spain.
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