GUARDIA CIVIL in the Balearic Islands have completed an operation which has resulted in 50 arrests and four criminal organisations disbanded.
The second phase of an operation codenamed ‘Obsesion’ which investigated alleged credit card fraud in brothels in Palma and Llucmajor, has concluded, and the detainees are charged with fraud, belonging to criminal organisations, crimes against workers’ rights and people trading.
The investigation began several months ago following several complaints regarding unauthorised credit card charges. The crimes were linked by four well-known brothels.
Last week, three homes and two brothels were searched, and 20 people were arrested. The officers seized €14,000, documents regarding payment methods and electrical equipment used to process the payments.
Clients had their credit cards stolen while they were in a brothel with one of the girls and using a dataphone, a company working with the fraudsters made charges on it. Another method they used was to wait until the client was drunk and used a credit card to order more drink, memorise the PIN number and when the client was with a girl, they stole the card and charged to it drinks and services which they hadn’t requested. The card was returned without them knowing it had been missing.
Amongst the detainees was the head of three of the organisations, who managed three brothels where women were being sexually exploited.