The Civil Guard dismantles a criminal organization dedicated to cheating by selling motor homes
10 people have been arrested and five motor homes have been recovered, valued at 160,000 euros, used as a “hook” for deception and sale, which had previously been improperly appropriated
It is estimated that the benefit obtained by the commission of the scams would amount to a total value of 171,547 euros
The Civil Guard, in the framework of the BENIMARY operation, has arrested 10 people belonging to a criminal organization based in Galicia and Castilla la Mancha, dedicated to the commission of scams by selling motorhomes recovering 5 of these vehicles, valued at 160,000 euros that were used as a “hook” for deception and subsequent sale, which had previously been improperly appropriated.
A total of 22 bank accounts have been blocked, of which 7 had been discharged to names of people outside the investigated group, in order to receive the income from the money from the scams. It is estimated that the benefit obtained by the commission of these crimes would amount to a total value of 171,547 euros
Investigations began when agents detected several scams in the sale of vehicles (motorhomes) in the province of Lugo. Once the complaints filed and the data provided by the victims of the events were collected, the Civil Guard was able to verify a connection in the modus operandi at the time of carrying out these scams.
Motorhome sale scam
Continuing with the investigations, the agents discovered that the organization advertised motorhome sales advertisements, which they initially did not own, on internet portals dedicated to the purchase and sale of vehicles.
Subsequently, the victims established contact with the alleged sellers of the vehicles, using the telephone numbers inserted in the announcements to begin the commercial purchase / sale process. Upon reaching the purchase agreement, sellers sometimes requested an economic advance in the form of a signal for their reservation, on other occasions a partial payment, which was deposited in previously opened bank accounts. Once the income was realized, the victims did not have more news of the commercial assumptions.
Over time, this mode of deception was changed with the objective of increasing economic benefits. For this, the members of the organization made the rental of the motorhomes to individuals and legal entities dedicated to the rental of these vehicles without a driver.
Once the members had in their possession the documentation of the vehicles they had rented and had agreed on the rental term, they made their sale without the lessor and the final recipient of the vehicle being aware of the scam.
To sell these motorhomes, the organization inserted sales advertisements on the internet portals to establish the commercial purchase / sale relationship. Subsequently, they delivered the vehicles together with their documentation and purchase invoice. This action reported amounts ranging between 30,000 and 40,000 euros for the sale of each vehicle.
To hide their identity, the leader of the organization and its three main collaborators used non-existent companies and natural persons outside the criminal group. In this way, they issued purchase / sale contracts and invoices. Likewise, the telephone numbers inserted in the advertisements were prepaid card numbers in the name of third parties outside the group and the bank accounts where the income of the amounts of scammed money were made, were previously opened through the "online" mode, using for this, documentation that the group leader and other components had for their work activity related to the purchase and sale of vehicles.
For the withdrawal of the money they used cards associated with the open banking entities. These entities had contracted with delivery companies of the delivery of the bank cards. When the courier was going to deliver these cards, the addresses or telephone numbers provided were non-existent, which forced the transport company to contact the customer by telephone to establish a new place of delivery. In this way, since the recipients of the cards were never the target customers, they were members of the group carrying and providing a copy of the national identity document.
Once in possession of the bank cards, they withdrew the money in different banking entities, minutes before 00:00 at night and minutes later, for amounts of 1,000 and 2,000 euros in order not to exceed the limit established by the Bank entities. To do this, they made use of clothing, sunglasses and even wigs to make identification impossible.
Final Result of the Investigation
Of the three domiciliary records carried out, various documents, photocopies of national identity documents, bank cards and prepaid mobile phone cards, related to the facts investigated, have been intervened.
It has been possible to verify the continuous criminal activity in the commission of scams, misappropriations, documentary falsehoods, identity usurpations, being able to count all seventeen complaints for scams and misappropriations, for an approximate value of 171,547 euros scammed. Likewise, 21 victims of fraud and misappropriation and 24 victims of identities usurped for the consummation of criminal acts have been located and reported.
The scams have been committed in, Lugo, Tenerife, A Coruña, Pontevedra, Albacete, Menorca, Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, Cáceres, Cuenca, Córdoba, Málaga, Ourense and Seville
The operation has been carried out by the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Commander of the Civil Guard of Lugo (Area of crimes against economic-heritage) and new technologies, under the direction of the head of the Court of Instruction of Becerreá (Lugo)
For more information, contact the Peripheral Office of Communication of the Lugo Civil Guard at 982 28 48 52.