The Guardia Civil have broken up a criminal gang in Malaga province whose members were pretending to sell sports clothing via social media. As part of Operation Balayiz, one person has been arrested so far and eight others from Spain, Uruguay and Peru are being investigated for alleged crimes against property and being part of a criminal organisation.
During the operation, the police found more than 500 people who had been victims of the fraud in the provinces of Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas, Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Jaén, Granada, Guipúzcoa, Balearic Islands, Murcia and Navarra.
The investigation began after the Guardia Civil received several reports of fraud in Malaga from people who said they had bought sports clothing which was being advertised on a well-known social media network but they had never received their purchases. The gang’s social media account had a lot of followers and was advertising items it did not have for sale.
Once someone had contacted them to enquire about their products, the gang would tell them they were about to place a big order and they could benefit from a better price if they became part of it. Once the potential client agreed, he or she was given a telephone number and asked to pay by Bizum.
The telephone numbers the gang used to receive the money belonged to relatives or friends of the person who has been arrested. They would then send the money on to him and he would collect the cash from cash machines.
The operation has been carried out by the Guardia Civil in Malaga in collaboration with colleagues in Madrid and in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.