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Fraudster Arrested Fraudster Arrested

Crime and Policing

Evangelist fraudsters arrested

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The Guardia Civil, within the framework of the operation called “Capellán”, has dismantled a criminal group dedicated to fraud through the fraudulent sale of the so-called remission vouchers. Five people linked by family and sentimental ties have been arrested, led by a person who was already arrested in 2014 within the framework of the operation “Currusco”.

The detainees were engaged in trading, outside the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), exotic banknotes of very little monetary value and selling them for hundreds and thousands of euro, even in shares, managing to accumulate more than 1.5 million euro by this means in a short space of time.

The criminal group had created a financial and business network, giving it a military and religious appearance, dedicated to attracting people with little financial literacy.

End of Operation “Currusco”: Beginning of “Capellán”

The operation began at the end of last year after the end of the “Currusco” operation, when investigators learned that one of the detainees had seen his assets increase exponentially without justification. This person, dedicated to delivering food at home, had increased his assets, both real estate and vehicles, being at the head of an international corporate network that raised the suspicions of the investigators.

The agents were able to verify how around this person and his sentimental and family environment, a group had formed with characteristics of being considered criminal and that was dedicated to the sale of so-called exotic banknotes, of African or Asian origin, which had little monetary value and could be acquired through online purchasing platforms, their sale value not exceeding one euro in most cases.

The recruitment of victims was carried out through video conferences, which they gave the style of American televangelists, even creating a fictitious order/foundation of a military and religious nature. The leader presented himself as the General Commander of the Chaplains for Spain and France or even as the leader of the chaplains of Europe, Asia and Oceania, and explained that he carried out these sales to help people with financial difficulties.

He also presented his assistants as chaplain captains or colonels to give the organisation a military aesthetic. To perfect his scams, he held in-person meetings in hotel conference rooms, in which he appeared accompanied by accomplices who at certain times incited the public to applaud and interact, all in the purest style of collective sales marketing.

This person confessed to his audience that he was already very advanced in creating his own currency, which would be supported by these bills which were very close to increasing their value exponentially.

With the money raised by the leader of this network, he went from delivering food to homes to buying an old bank branch for 300,000 euro, setting up an entire corporate and financial network, with operations in different countries in Europe and South America, as a way of channelling the huge profits they obtained.

So far, more than 200 people affected by these practices have been identified and a real estate asset of more than 1.5 million euro has been located without justification of its origin, as well as a multitude of vehicles, many of them high-end.

The operation “Capellán” has ended with five arrests and five searches in both the homes and corporate headquarters of the entities linked to the group under investigation.

Anyone who may have been affected by the operations of this criminal group is requested to contact the Money Laundering Section of the Guardia Civil in Cadiz, by calling 956293408.

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