“No hiding place” for food poisoning scammers
Police have warned there is no hiding place for anyone involved in the false food poisoning scam which have been costing Spain, including the Canaries, millions of euros over recent years.
Action against those behind the fraudulent claims and holidaymakers who have felt the benefit are being stepped up, including with police raids in Mallorca.
Seven people were arrested in the Balearics on suspicion of running the scam, all of them British.
It is believed the police action is now being extended to all parts of Spain, including the Canary Islands where hoteliers have also been suffering.
Members of the Civil Guard and court officials gained access to a number of private homes and businesses premises in Mallorca as part of a co-ordinated operation.
The so-called “claim farmers” have been exploiting a loophole in the UK law which has allowed tourists to put in food poisoning claims against their hotels without having to prove it.
Club Mac of Alcúdia re-cently revealed it had sub-mitted an official complaint to the police after being duped out of four million euros in the 2016 season.
The 273 claims involved 797 people, with many of them belonging to the same family.
The National Police’s Economic Crimes Group is said to have found evidence of crime in these claims, many of them being conducted through specialised consumer law firms in the United Kingdom.
The British Government is also taking action, making it easier for tour companies to challenge food poisoning claims without the fear of racking up huge court bills.
And just last week, one so-called claim farmer in the UK was officially stripped of its licence.
The British Embassy said evidence showed the firm had used deceptive sales scripts, exaggerating expected pay-outs to entice consumers.
In Mallorca, an army of “ticketers” were paid 50 pounds for every Brit persuaded to make false food poisoning claims. They were told they could win up to 3,000 pounds as well as recouping the cost of their holiday.