The Civil Guard dismantles a criminal organization responsible for hundreds of scams related to the sale of masks and other effects

6 people have been arrested and 265 crimes of fraud, threats, extortion, falsification of documents and usurpation of civil status committed in 21 provinces have been clarified

The organization had at least 11 websites from which they committed the scams and an intricate financial organization with which they managed to launder the profits abroad

It is estimated that the amount scammed could amount to around 100,000 euros

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the “Hontecilla” operation, has dismantled a criminal organization responsible for 265 crimes of fraud, threats, extortion, falsification of documents, usurpation of civil status and money laundering. 6 people of Moldovan nationality have been arrested and 3 searches carried out in the towns of Salou and Reus (Tarragona) and in San Adría del Besos (Barcelona), in which a large number of falsified documents of all kinds have been seized, more than 100 SIM cards, a score of latest generation mobile phones, data storage devices, a cryptocurrency management portfolio, fake credit / debit cards (most of them called black, this is without spending limit or with a very high limit), instruments for the preparation of false documentation, 19,000 euros in cash and a high-end vehicle.

The organization took advantage of the population's state of need to obtain masks and other health products due to the health crisis of COVID-19 to defraud individuals, municipalities, associations, companies, pharmacies and orthopedics.

265 crimes committed by this organization clarified

With the dismantling of this organization, the Civil Guard has managed to clarify 265 crimes of which:

  • 81 crimes of fraud related to the purchase of medical supplies-masks committed in the provinces of Murcia, Guadalajara, Valencia, Huesca, Cádiz, Alicante, Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Vizcaya, Barcelona, ​​Jaén, Zaragoza and Huelva.
  • 41 fraud crimes related to the purchase of mobile terminals in the provinces of Cáceres and Alicante.
  • 13 crimes of fraud related to the purchase of electric scooters committed in the provinces of Huelva and Alicante.
  • 4 phishing scams in the provinces of Salamanca, Castellón and in the Autonomous Communities of Madrid and Asturias.
  • 25 scams related to the sale of watches in the provinces of Toledo, Zaragoza, Valencia and Pontevedra.
  • 17 crimes of threats and extortion in the provinces of Albacete, Vizcaya and Valladolid.
  • They are also charged with a crime of money laundering, 34 crimes of usurpation of civil status and more than 50 crimes of document falsification.

Investigators estimate that the amount scammed by this criminal organization could amount to about 100,000 euros.

Complaint filed by a City Council

Last April the Civil Guard began investigations after the complaint filed by a City Council of a town in the province of Guadalajara in which, after making a purchase through a website, 600 FPP 1 masks for an amount of about 800 euros that he never received.

The agents focused their investigations on the study of the website and contact mobile phone used by the scammers and on the tracking of the current account provided by the perpetrators, reaching the conclusion that it was part of a network of accounts currents opened in different banking entities in different parts of the national territory.

This criminal organization was highly specialized and structured and diversified its activity to obtain money fraudulently by creating a network of checking accounts in Spain using usurped and sometimes false identities, deriving part of the money obtained from other accounts opened abroad ( Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Belgium) in order to “whiten it”, operating since 2019 and using the provinces of Tarragona and Barcelona as a “base of operations”.

The operation has been coordinated by the Investigating Court of Molina de Aragón, and developed by agents of the Civil Guard of the Guadalajara Command, it continues open and the imputation of more crimes and detainees is not ruled out based on the study of the intervened documentation.


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