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A criminal network that operated from a brothel in Elche falls, creating companies to defraud the Treasury and regularize immigrants | Economy

Money seized by the National Police from a criminal organization.
Money seized by the National Police from a criminal organization.NATIONAL POLICE (Europa Press)

The police have dismantled a criminal gang that was dedicated to creating shell companies to defraud the Treasury and Social Security. Most of the companies had their headquarters in a brothel in Elche, located in a private home. Officially dedicated to “footwear, metals, food…”, they were ghost companies set up and abandoned by an Elche businessman, the owner of the home, to make false invoices to companies seeking to defraud the Treasury. “This is a citizen with a police record for fraud, a professional swindler”, in the words of the National Police investigators, who arrested him last month as the head of a network of more than one hundred people created to defraud Social Security. and regularize immigrants. “They got them papers for between 3,000 and 6,000 euros”, explained the agents of the UCRIF (Unit against immigration networks and documentary falsehoods) at a press conference this Tuesday.

Among the 125 detainees —the majority Spanish— in this operation carried out in four phases and centered on Elche, there is a public official from the Tax Agency, “who provided the information to the main database detainee and warned him if he or any of these false companies were being investigated in exchange for significant amounts of money”, those responsible for the investigation have pointed out. The detainees are accused of belonging to a criminal organization, false documents, fraud, money laundering, favoring illegal immigration, fraud of Social Security benefits and crimes related to prostitution.

The businessman in question also used a law firm, located in the same town in Alicante, to manage both the creation and closure of his alleged businesses and the documents of the immigrants. Both the alleged businessman and owner of the brothel and the official “had a high standard of living that contrasted with his activity”, they have pointed out.

The investigators assure that the organization had been operating for “at least five years”, so they do not dare to estimate the amount of the fraud. However, in the 12 home searches they carried out, 124,000 euros in cash, four high-end vehicles, five computer equipment, a cryptocurrency mining farm and 112,000 euros in virtual currencies were involved that the fictitious business network used to launder the profits obtained from their illegal activity. In addition, a total of 80 bank accounts with a balance of more than 200,000 euros, 24 vehicles have been blocked, and the prohibition of disposing of, disposing of, or encumbering a total of ten real estate properties in the province of Alicante, most of them of them owned by the businessman and the official, as revealed by the investigators.

non-existent companies

The investigation began in October 2020 when it became known that an alleged businessman could be committing different crimes such as fraud, false documents and money laundering with the alleged collaboration of a law firm. The investigators verified that the companies to which he was linked as a proxy or administrator had no way of being located, either physically or virtually: “They did not exist.”

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Subsequent police efforts also detected that the alleged businessman regularly met with two other people linked to a law firm, and who later turned out to be, presumably, active members of the criminal organization. The investigators were able to learn that the criminal organization, with the advice and participation of that firm, “was dedicated to the creation of fictitious companies with a double objective, to make false invoices to companies, which were used to carry out different frauds against the Treasury. and to regularize migrants in a fraudulent manner”, describes the police note.

The fictitious companies provided migrants with both documentation and contracts and job offers in order to carry out the procedures for obtaining or renewing residence permits. In addition, they used one of the fictitious companies to obtain an ICO loan of 40,000 euros and another quick loan requested from a bank of 18,000 euros, with the collusion of bank employees, who knew that money would never be returned.

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