A VALENCIA extortion racket pocketed over €180,000 from men looking to book a prostitute via a bogus website.

Customers were blackmailed for not going through with bookings and were told to transfer money to bank accounts to stop family members hearing about their extra curricular activities.

The Policia Nacional have arrested 30 people in Valencia and raided a city centre flat that was used as the operation hub.

24 mobile phones, 44 SIM cards, eight bank cards, and two guns and ammunition were removed from the property.

Over 67 complaints have been filed across Spain with more victims expected to come forward.

Police started to look into the gang in June 2022 after getting the first reports about their scam which been copied by other criminals in the region in the last 18 months.

Users of the bogus website started to be contacted via an instant messaging app where the alleged head of the prostitution network said that potential clients had ‘wasted their time’ and demanded money as compensation- promising ‘problems’ if they did not pay up.

Victims fearing physical assault or their families being told about the website agreed to pay what was required, and as is so frequent in such cases, the crooks continued to demand more money.

Police said the gang had a defined structure including the use of ‘mules’ who would be paid for letting the criminals have access to their bank accounts into which the extorted cash would be paid.

Some of the ‘mules’ were physically attacked or threatened with death if they did not pass on all of extorted transfers to their bosses.


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