A gang seizing inheritances from dead people in the Marina Alta area of the Costa Blanca has been arrested by the Guardia Civil.
Homes worth over €3 million as well as jewellery, cash and other assets were stolen from at least 22 elderly victims, including a British national and eight Germans.
The investigation remains open as efforts continue to find more cases of illegal seizures.
The majority of victims were non-Spaniards with no heirs to their estates, with the criminals using the Covid pandemic as a cover to boost their activities.
Eight people have been detained in Denia, l’Alfas del Pi, Ondara, Calpe, Oliva, as well as Sopelana in Biscay province, with three more under investigation.
The driving force behind the fraud were a brother and sister from Sopelana, with the woman, 63, owning real estate agencies in Denia, the Basque Country, Bilbao and Cantabria.
Her sibling, 54, was in charge of an insurance brokerage.
It’s believed they were planning to flee Spain after they became aware of the Guardia operation.
Their associates included two workers at a Marina Alta funeral home; a nursing home employee; and a former council worker in the region.
Inquiries began in May 2021 after the Guardia heard that a house belonging to a deceased person in Benissa had been illegally accessed.
The funeral home workers entered the property and stole jewellery and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The keys were passed onto other gang members who carried out some improvements to the property before letting it out.
It was discovered that the funeral home employees would set into motion an illegal home seizure once nobody came to claim the body of a deceased person.
They contacted the gang-leading siblings in Biscay who would either sell or rent out the properties.
The former Marina Alta council employee helped with the illegal transfer of property deeds and registration while a nursing home worker got hold of personal documents and bank access codes belonging to the dead victims.
The gang got over €112,000 from two bank accounts belonging to German and Swiss deceased residents.
The Guardia Civil says 20 properties were misappropriated including four in Paris.
Items removed by officers in house raids included cash, over a hundred pieces of jewellery, eight cars, and a cryptocurrency wallet.
- Crooked carer steals jewellery from vulnerable elderly clients on Spain’s Costa Blanca
- Murcia carer tries to flee Spain after stealing €18,000 from elderly client
- Wicked carer in Spain’s Valencia steals €100,000 of jewellery from elderly couple