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Gang nets over 470,000 euros by ordering food products but never paying 

Police in the Canary Islands have arrested seven people suspected of running a food scam which netted nearly 500,000 euros.

The gang was involved in a racket which involved ordering products from the Spanish mainland and getting them delivered to Gran Canaria.

However, they never paid for the order, either by giving out cheques which bounced or just failing to respond to the demands for payment, either via phonecalls or emails until the supplier “gave up”.

Sometimes, said the police, the same distributors were hit twice because the gang’s original bogus companies were dissolved and new ones created with new administrators at the helm.

The scam is known as the nazareno technique and duped companies in at least 18 provinces.

The orders were made by fictitious companies which asked for food products such as meat, drinks and fish to be delivered to Gran Canaria.

Once the products had arrived, they were sold across the island but the original “purchasers” never paid the bills.

The investigations began when a company located in Jaén was swindled out of nearly 20,000 euros in food products and discovered that the business which put in the order never existed.

Police found other firms on the mainland which had suffered the same fate.

“All sorts of excuses were made for non-payment and phone calls and emails were never answered,” said a police spokesman.

It is believed the network used at least eight bogus companies to commit the scam so they were able to defraud the same suppliers on more than one occasion.

The gang had already found customers for the food products even before the arrived in Gran Canaria so they were sold very quickly. The amount defrauded amounts to over 470,000 euros.