20 credit card fraudsters have been arrested by the Guardia Civil in Mallorca as part of Operation Devon, demolishing a network used for swindling tourists through a business in Magaluf, Mallorca.
The victims were predominantly British, Nordic and Scandinavian tourists… most of which were thought to have been intoxicated at the time the fraud is alleged to have taken place. The fraudsters obtained the tourists cards and/or pin codes to make a series of high charges.
As part of the investigation, the Guardia Civil obtained cloning machines, PIN copiers, recording equipment and POS receipts.
Four men and 16 women were arrested as part of the operation, all connected to a business in Magaluf, Mallorca. The amount defrauded is estimated to be approximately €45,000 although the Guardia Civil expect the actual amount to be higher because many victims of the scam did not report it.
Two raids were carried out in two strip clubs, owned by the head of the organisation, a Spanish man (Leon B.A.). Leon already has a number of previous convictions for similar offences and his connections with other criminal organisations. He also runs a gym in the area, popular with locals.
Victims in the main were intoxicated tourists, because they were easier to deceive in their inebriated state.
The PR’s at both strip clubs have additionally been criticised by tourists, locals and the police for their “hands on” approach in trying to pull people onto the premises, with allegations of pushing and abuse. People were beginning to avoid the area entirely so as not to get into difficulties with the pushy PRs.
The Devon investigation remains open so as to explore whether further arrests are necessary, and to enable any more victims of the fraud to come forward. It was carried out by the Guardia Civil and the Unidad Central Operative (UCO) in conjunction with the people’s departments of the UOPJ, USECIC and the Puesto Principal de Palmanova of the Balearic Islands.