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Four million euro scam involved tampering with car mileage 

PAGE 18 Four million euro scam  involved tampering with car mileage
The Civil Guard has arrested 103 people for manipulating the mileage of second-hand vehicles

Operation Countdown, started in 2014 in Zaragoza, has resulted in a total of 85 investigated, alleged perpetrators of a scam crime. Those investigated manipulated the odometers of vehicles to which they lowered the kilometers to proceed to their subsequent sale to individuals.

The operation began when a private individual informed the Civil Guard of the purchase of a vehicle in La Almunia de Doña Godina (Zaragoza) to which the actual kilometers had been reduced. The Judicial Police checked how the odometer of this tourism was manipulated, reducing the actual kilometers in more than 75,000 before proceeding to its sale.

Inspecting the workshop where the car was tampered with, the Civil Guard found that seven vehicles were sold in that establishment in previous years after reductions of between 80,000 and 100,000 kilometers. In addition, the agents verified at the time of the inspection that three vehicles for sale at that time had also been tampered with.

After the arrest of the owner of the workshop, it was learned that the handling of these cars was carried out in an industrial establishment in Zaragoza. In the inspection of this second location, the Civil Guard seized numerous material that confirmed the criminal activity investigated and showed the involvement of other companies and commercial establishments dedicated to the sale of vehicles.

After studying the seized documentation, numerous establishments dedicated to the sale of second-hand vehicles and auto repair shops that also performed this activity in the provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza, Teruel, Soria and Logroño were detected. During the four years that the operation lasted, more than 45,000 vehicles were check-ed, detecting that 1,094 were handled and whose owners did not notice the scam.

Odometer manipulations detected were carried out on vehicles from rental companies, national individuals, official services of different brands and transport companies. High-end import vehicles were also tested and detected from countries such as Romania, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic and Israel.

During these four years the Civil Guard has proceeded to the arrest of a total of 103 people and investigation of 85 more, for alleged crimes of fraud. 1,094 vehicles have been detected that suffered manipulations ranging between 25,000 and 610,000 kilometers. It is estimated a total of 165 million kilometers handled, a scam that would be around four million euros. In addition, 24 crimes of documentary falsification, committed on invoices issued by the sale of several of these vehicles and on workshop books, were clarified.