39 arrested in toll road scam

Thirty-nine people have so far been arrested in Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia and Sevilla in connection with the manufacture and sale of fake toll road passes that swindled about one million euros from Spanish toll road operators.

Officials at UDEF, the Economic and Tax Crimes Squad, said that a network of businesses also helped the organization by selling the passes to frequent toll road users, mostly lorry drivers, for €500.

A 76-year-old engineer in Barcelona is said to be the brains behind the scam, preparing the packages of passes in his bedroom. According to UDEF, two types of passes were produced. One was for use solely on Spanish toll roads and another was valid on roads in France, Italy and Germany.

The investigation began when a private toll road operator filed a complaint after discovering that drivers were using fake passes and in the subsequent investigation, police also discovered that the organization was making and distributing fake credit cards to pay for toll fares.

The perpetrators of the scam would meet with lorry drivers at roadside stops near Barcelona where they conducted the transactions. The false passes were valid for one month. The packages contained several passes to be used in a specific order and if one didn’t work for some reason, another could be used.

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