THE Guardia Civil have broken up a massive conspiracy to defraud insurance companies by claiming for the death of pure breed Spanish horses which were actually old nags with false papers.
Over a period of 12 months, after having been alerted by an insurance company of the death of four horses insured for thousands of euros, the Seprona unit of the Guardia Civil investigated 28 different people across much of Spain and have so far arrested four people charged with belonging to a criminal organisation, animal abuse, fraud and forgery.
Officers discovered that there were an abnormal number of deaths occurring to animals in remote villages and that large amounts of money were being claimed in respect of so called thoroughbred animals which supposedly died in a series of accidents or due to disease.
It transpired that certain vets were being ‘persuaded’ to issue false documents certifying that the horses were from recognised Spanish steed bloodlines when in a number of cases they had never even seen the animal in question.
Some animals were simply sent to slaughterhouses, others were put down or in two cases were still alive even though up to €30,000 had been claimed for their death.
The investigation continues but it is clear that future insurance claims will be strictly investigated before any compensation is paid.