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Fake 'doctor' arrested after allegedly treating patients on Costa del Sol for more than 30 years
Crime

Fake 'doctor' arrested after allegedly treating patients on Costa del Sol for more than 30 years

Ongoing police investigations have so far identified 10 victims of the man, who had no medical qualifications, with two of them fleeced out of a combined total of 300,000 euros for their treatments

Juan Cano / Irene Quirante

Malaga

Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 17:54

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A fake 'doctor 'who treated people for more than 30 years and allegedly swindled two of them out of 300,000 euros has been arrested in Rincón de la Victoria, on the eastern strip of the Costa del Sol in Malaga province.

The 56-year-old who practised out of his house in Torre de Benagalbón was arrested by Guardia Civil police after officers discovered he had been treating people, without any qualifications.

Police started investigating the case in January after two patients of the fake medical professional filed complaints after they had been fleeced of 240,000 and 80,000 euros following treatments. Officers watched the man's home and witnessed patients continuously coming and going from the house.

The fake medic saw about a dozen people every day with all kinds of health conditions, from bone problems or rheumatism, to pain resulting from various illnesses and infections, according to investigators.

Appointments would last about 30 minutes, with the fake doctor using alternative medicine such as special herbs during treatments, police said. He would tell patients he taught pathological anatomy at the University of Granada, which police confirmed to be not true. Likewise, police verified that he used a stamp on his reports in which he stated that he was a rehabilitation doctor and his membership number, also false. For each day of work - he was not open every working day of the week - the fake doctor could earn anywhere between 400 and 600 euros, according to investigators.

Among other evidence, the Guardia Civil also seized various medical reports, blood tests, ultrasounds and MRI scans before arresting the individual.

Police are continuing their investigations to identify more potential victims. So far, Guardia Civil is aware of 10 people, although most of them declined to report it due to shame at having fallen victim to the scam. Others, SUR can confirm, did not want to make a formal complaint as they were happy with the treatment they received, they said.

Among other documentation, investigators found two diaries in his 'surgery' in which he had written down the appointments, the names of patients and the money he charged for the supposed treatments, for which he could obtain up to 4,000 euros, according to sources. However, the contents of the notebooks only correspond to recent dates, which is why the investigation is ongoing in order to locate more victims.

How to check if a doctor is licensed

The College of Physicians of Malaga (Commálaga) has already announced that it will appear as a private prosecution in this case. Apparently, one of the complainants was the relative of a patient, who contacted the association to check if the person under investigation was registered, after which it was verified that he was not neither in Malaga nor in another college in Spain. Subsequently, Commálaga shared this information with the Guardia Civil.

The president of the professional body , Pedro J. Navarro, sent a message of calm to the public saying, “Fortunately there are very few cases like this and when there are, the College acts quickly and hand in hand with the police.

The College of Physicians recommends that members of the public, if in doubt, check whether the medical professional treating them is licensed. To do this, there is a section on the association's website to check if it is the case; It is only necessary to enter the person's first and last name.

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