Officers from the Guardia Civil have arrested 5 people believed to have been acting as a criminal gang who committed over 2,000 crimes at petrol stations and stores across Spain, valued at more than 2 million euro.
The arrests occurred in Torrevieja and Benidorm, and five homes have been raided, including one on the Orihuela Costa, with investigators seizing laptops, tablet computers, mobile phones, 6,000 euro in cash, as well as different artefacts relating to gambling, as it is believed that the group, who were experienced poker players, laundered money through on-line gambling networks.
The majority of the group's criminal activities revolved around pre-paid fuel cards, in conjunction with the fraudulent use of credit or debit cards. The investigation, nicknamed “Voluto”, began in October 2012, after the owner of a chain of filling stations around the Granada town of Guadix noted discrepancies in the use of cards, reporting his findings to the authorities.
Initial investigations made officers believe that the network existed, whereas the criminals would contact local filling stations by telephone, posing as engineers for the point-of-sale terminals, fraudulently acquiring information from the operators.
The gang would later visit the premises, posing as maintenance workers, where they would be able to act on the information to access the accounts and initiate the process of transferring funds, completing the transaction later through online gambling sites operating in spain and Gibraltar.
Once the group had been identified and located, investigators proceeded to the four men, of Spanish nationality, and a woman from Peru, as alleged perpetrators of fraud, forgery, counterfeiting marital status, money laundering and conspiracy.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42836/
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