21 arrested in Canary Islands tourist scam investigation

Tenerife electronics scam arrests
By Harry Kemble
Home » 21 arrested in Canary Islands tourist scam investigation

Spanish police have arrested 21 men as part of an investigation into a scam targeting elderly British tourists in Tenerife.

The scam involves tourists being sold cheap electrical items, then finding out after they returned home that they had been charged a larger sum to their bank cards.

Police raided the homes of suspects on Monday last week after a seven-month investigation into the scam, Canarian Weekly reports.

The alleged leaders of the gang were among the 21 people arrested at six addresses across south Tenerife.

Police seized €1.3 million in cash, jewellery and 11 vehicles in the raids as well as blocked more than 300 bank accounts.

In April, Travel Gossip reported that holidaymakers to the Canaries were being warned of the scam, which cost an elderly British tourist thousands of pounds.

British tourist Bridget Manning was targeted by the gang when she was out clothes shopping in Tenerife in March.

The widow was approached by a ‘sales assistant’ in a shop on Los Cristianos promenade, offering her a ‘top-of-the-range’ tablet computer for just £150.

She was told she could put down a £26 deposit and return to pay the full balance before flying home.

However, when she got back to the UK, she found £2,128 had been taken from two of her bank accounts.

She explained to Money Mail that when she came to paying for the tablet, she was told that her card was declined three times so she tried a second debit card, which was ‘accepted’ by the sale assistant.

She only realised when she had returned home that money had been taken from both accounts.

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