Friday, March 17, 2006

Timeshare business charged with fraud

National police officers stationed in south Tenerife have announced that 13 people have been arrested and charged with timeshare fraud.

The accused individuals range in age from 25 to 55-years-old and of various nationalities.

According to the police statement, the investigation got underway over a year ago after police received numerous complaints from people who had bought timeshare ‘weeks’ and had been defrauded out of considerable sums of money.

The buy/sell scam was a professional operation that had a network of companies and frustrating paperwork that left "owners" confused and muddled.

Apparently, buyers are approached in their home countries, principally the United Kingdom, France and Belgium, and, once sold on the concept are asked to put down a large sum of money by way of a deposit and administration fees. Once the money is in the timeshare company’s account no further action is taken.

In addition, police claim that the company, with offices in an undisclosed location in the south of the Island, also offered its clients, as a thank you, a free holiday here in Tenerife, will all costs, including airfares and accommodation taken care of. Once again, clients failed to receive such benefits.

Due to the fact that the crime has far reaching consequences throughout Europe, the Spanish National Police worked in collaboration with Interpol in order to bring the culprits to justice.

The company changed its name on many occasions, moved premises and generally made every attempt to confound police. During the time they were operational, it is suspected that hundreds of people were defrauded, although the exact total amount of money is difficult to ascertain. The company allegedly transferred cash from Tenerife banks in the form of rapid transfers, to accounts they had set up for the purpose in well known offshore tax havens.

The group is in custody awaiting a court appearance.

3 comments:

latter said...

friends of ours were caught in this way,they were approached on the streets in tenerife taken to an office where they handed over nearly £6,000 as they were promised after 5 years they could have their money back taking free holidays until that time, when they returned to the uk the company said they were not eligible and refused to return their money.that did not receive anything and barcleycard would do nothing to help them.

BIG_ADE said...

Whilst I have not been caught out by this particular scam, my wife was caught out by Holiday Advice Bureau, at Malaga. I have recently obtained a refund from Barclaycard for the 750 euros, but it took many attemps and only when I threatened to take them to court did they recredit my account. Misrepresentation obviously means nothing to Barclaycard.

Tony Pearce said...

It can be extremely hard to get Barclaycard to refund the money, one thing that might help is contacting Voice http://www.voice.eu.com/
They are well aware of these scams and may be able to assist you with Barclaycard when it comes to proving it is misrepresentation if not fraud!