A pyramid scheme that netted €1.5 million from unsuspecting investors has been brought down by the Guardia Civil.

The two ring-leaders- an Italian national and a Cuban woman- operating from Tenerife have been arrested.

18 beneficiaries in Alicante Province and nine in Murcia along with four others in Barcelona and Oviedo have been detained or investigated.

Investors were promised high returns from a new digital market-place that would act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers.

The con was elaborate and included the Italian organiser starring in a promotional video to lure in unsuspecting clients.

Presentations in luxury hotels were organised with the offer of holidays and cruises to give the added veneer of respectability and legitimacy.

The Guardia probe discovered the scheme was being promoted in the UK, Italy, Columbia, and the Dominican Republic as well as Spain.

The traditional pyramid fraud saw initial investors paid from money generated by new victims.

They were offered licenses that offered high-interest returns and access to a portal that showed their growing pot of money, even though they could not withdraw it.

Profits from the scam were transferred to bank accounts in Lithuania or converted to cryptocurrencies.

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