A 25-YEAR-OLD Frenchman has been arrested in the Valencia area on 104 counts of fraud and money laundering after tricking online buyers to purchase goods they never received.
The cyber-criminal laundered his profits into the bank account of a UK-based company that he owned.
Over 100 people were defrauded across Spain after being teased into buying products at bargain prices, with the fraud amounting to €20,000 within the country.
International purchasers led to the fraudster making profits in excess of €200,000 in just four months.
The Guardia Civil launched an operation to track him down in November 2022 following a complaint from a Horta Norte resident in Valencia province.
The woman bought two electric scooters from a well-known brand on a website that appeared legitimate and was running a short-term cut price offer.
The buyer received a purchase confirmation email, as well as tracking details of its shipment, but she never got her order.
A few days later, the website had disappeared, but Guardia cyber experts managed to recover it, and found five other sites that looked the same selling similar products and which the same contact details.
Inquiries led them to focus on the French national who invested over €50,000 in just four months to promote his sites in order to appear in top positions on the main internet search engines.
He established a complex network of bank accounts, where the money obtained from his victims was circulating through banks located in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Lithuania, France and Germany- making investigations harder.
All of the money was then laundered into his UK company.
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