One of the police raids. / National police

Three multi-million euro cyber scammers arrested in Malaga

Jewellery and watches worth more than two million euros and more than 20,000 euros in cryptocurrencies have been seized

EUROPA PRESS

Spain's National Police force, in a joint operation with the Romanian National Police and Europol, have dismantled an international organisation that allegedly swindled more than three million euros through fraud committed over the internet.

The National Police said nine people were arrested – three of them in Malaga and six in Romania – who published false advertisements on the internet for the sale of second-hand vehicles and other products, with which they attracted the attention of the victims. After asking for payment in advance the scammers disappeared without trace.

In addition, 21 other people are under investigation and eight house searches have been carried out. Jewellery and watches valued at more than 2,000,000 euros have been seized along with 4,500 euros in cash, 2,800 pounds, and more than 20,000 euros in cryptocurrencies.

Eight computers, a server, 17 hard disks, 14 mobile phones, 70 SIM cards, as well as different documentation related to the investigation have also been seized. More than 120 bank accounts of those investigated in Spain and Romania have also been blocked.

The detainees are accused of more than 70 cases of fraud and of gleaning profits of more than three million euros.

The investigation began at the end of 2019 following a complaint filed at the National Police station in Manacor where a victim claimed to have been swindled in the purchase of a vehicle over the Internet.

The investigators discovered that the alleged scam was not an isolated crime, behind it was an important international criminal organisation made up of more than 30 people, mostly Romanian nationals.

The National Police said that most of the addresses registered in Romania were in the area of Vacea, known as a centre for internet fraud.