The Guardia Civil in Cádiz have arrested 18 people suspected of committing the crime of fraud at a luxury hotel in Chiclana de la Frontera, the police action forming part of Operation Rinus.
The hotel management informed the police of their suspicions regarding a number of bookings made from the UK using fraudulently obtained foreign credit cards and with fake UK passports.
The police investigation led to the conclusion that the scam being perpetrated was carried out at three levels.
Firstly, a group of people would fraudulently obtain credit card details, normally using what are normally referred to as ‘skimmers placed at ATM’s or the like.
The organisation obtaining the details does not usually use the obtained details themselves but sells data cards to another set of people who operate as ‘low cost’ travel agents selling airline or train tickets, vacation packages etc. These travel agents buy up the tickets and packages and then sell them on at well below the market rate.
Finally there are the people who buy these cheap tickets or packages knowing full well that they are committing a crime by doing so, the transactions being in cash with no reference to the travel agency involved along the way.
In this case it is the latter, the end users, who have been detained are are now due to appear in court.