Fugitive wanted over €18M betting scam arrested on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
A EUROPEAN Arrest and Extradition Warrant had been issued for the 64-year-old Belgian man in relation to the huge scam in which he conned millions out of his victims.
A lengthy investigation led the National Police to Alicante town Alfaz del Pi, where the fugitive and his sister were discovered hiding out having fled Belgium in May 2020.
At the time of his arrest, the fugitive was carrying a document with a fictitious identity which allowed him to “go unnoticed in Spain for almost a year”, reports Las Provincias.
Between 2008 and 2012 in the Belgian city of Liege, allegedly with the help of his sister, the detainee reportedly managed to defraud millions by promising to place sports bets for his victims, bets that were never made.
The fugitive was awaiting trial in his home country having been charged with document forgery, fraud and money laundering. He faces a three-year prison sentence.
He has been placed at the disposal of the Central Court of Instruction number 4 of the National Court of Madrid, which will now be in charge of processing the European Arrest Warrant.
Earlier this month, the National Police in Benidorm apprehended a 58-year-old man against whom the Belgian authorities had issued a European Detention and Surrender Order (OEDE) for crimes of drug trafficking and fraud.
According to a statement from the Spanish authorities, the fugitive faces 10 years in prison once extradited back to Belgium.
Officers belonging to the Organised Crime Group of the Alicante Judicial Police Brigade learned that the unnamed criminal was hiding out in Spain’s Costa Blanca and launched a manhunt.
Their investigations led them to a property in Benidorm where the suspect tried to flee on foot when he spotted the officers; the police gave chase and quickly arrested the man.