surinenglish

Kids' cancer fundraising scam causes outrage as police arrest five

Police officers during the raid on the charity's office.
Police officers during the raid on the charity's office. / CNP
  • Parents' associations across Spain unwittingly took part in the alleged fraud which supposedly fuelled lavish lifestyles for organisers

News of a scandal involving a charity raising funds for child cancer has caused anger across Spain among organisations that supported it. The charity, Linceci, offered different ways to donate or collect money and investigators believe those running it used funds to support "a lavish lifestyle". Police in Zaragoza, northern Spain, where the charity had a base, have raided its offices and five people were also arrested.

Following the police raids, companies, local authorities and schools who helped with fundraising have been coming forward to report their involvement in the network of organisations supporting the charity and that they may have been victims of the supposed illegal activity.

Police say that formal complaints have started to be received but that for the moment it is impossible to know the full extent of Linceci's operation.

"The charitable association widely promoted over its website and magazines the sale of fundraising products and events," said the National Police over the arrests. Their marketing reached into schools over social media and direct messages to the heads of educational establishments who were urged to collaborate.

In Malaga province, parents' associations in Alhaurín de la Torre, Ronda, Vélez-Málaga, Sierra de Yeguas, Mijas and Malaga city told SUR that they had collaborated with Linceci and taken part in its supposedly fraudulent campaigns.

Julián Sesmero, chairman of the parents' association at Clara Campoamor school in Alhaurín de la Torre said, "They have conned us; me and all the parents who have taken part."

The charity generally asked schools and firms to sell fundraising merchandise on their behalf.