POLICE are investigating eight employees of an unnamed company that evicts squatters for assaulting tenants of a dozen homes in the Murcia district of La Alberca.
The men have been interviewed by the Policia Nacional as well as three other company workers, who are being probed over possible home evasion and coercion charges.
One of the eviction crew is expected to be charged with robbery after a security camera caught him stealing property from the four-storey building on Calle Lope de Vega.
A number of private security guards also involved in the eviction attempt have given statements.
Residents reported hearing banging on the landing of their block at around 9.00am on January 12.
Shortly afterwards a group of men- some of them hooded- entered the homes and forced people out onto the street, allegedly assaulting the tenants.
One of the residents, Rosa Maria, told the La Verdad newspaper: “They broke in through the door of my house and went after my son, who is 17-years-old.
“They covered his mouth, grabbed him by the neck and took him out barefoot onto the street.”
Rosa Maria’s partner denied any illegal occupation as they paid rent until two years ago.
“We are not squatters because we signed a contract with the developer where we paid rent with an option to buy, but the collector who came monthly to pick up the money stopped doing so because the company went bankrupt.”
“We have receipts for payments made by bank transfer, electricity and water bills,” he added.
A lawyer acting for another resident said that the properties are in the process of being ‘relaunched’.
The unnamed legal counsel said: “The company that owns the block went bankrupt and sold the building to a vulture fund in 2020, and a for a period of time, no rent was required as legal eviction proceedings were initiated.”
Vulture funds are investors that buy up debt-ridden firms or invests in them to make a quick profit.
The lawyer said that after receiving details of the fund’s legal claim, they countered by presenting the lease agreement and a certificate of registration to a court.
“We understand that the eviction cannot proceed and the case is on appeal,” he added, pointing out under the new eviction law nothing can happen until 2025, and that the fund wanted to ‘act by force’ to and ‘scare’ the residents into leaving.
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