The Alicante Civil Guard has dismantled a criminal group that, taking advantage of the damage caused by DANA last year 2019, tried to defraud 250,000 euros from the Insurance Compensation Consortium.
After the cold drop of September last year, which hit the Vega Baja especially, the victims of DANA demanded compensation from their insurance companies to alleviate the consequences of the storm. The indemnities were paid by the Insurance Compensation Consortium, a public business entity dependent on the Central Administration, which is responsible for dealing with these types of extraordinary risks.
At the end of September 2019, a claim for compensation amounting to 250,000 euros, in favor of a company from this Alicante region, reached the consortium. They alleged that they had lost 200,000 kilograms of merchandise, including lemons and potatoes, 3,000 wooden boxes and a thousand pallets, which were stored inside a company warehouse.
The consortium estimated that the compensation requested was not in accordance with the alleged damages, and valued them at 160,000 euros, of which the injured parties requested an advance of 100,000 euros to be able to face the precarious situation in which the company had supposedly been company, details the Benemérita in a statement.
Once the compensation file had been processed, and the total compensation paid, during a review file carried out “in the face of some inconsistencies detected in the documentation provided”, the Consortium suspected that it could be a scam. In July of this year 2020, the Consortium formalized a complaint before the Civil Guard and the Economic Crimes Section of the Civil Guard of Alicante took over the investigation.
From the study of the documentation carried out by the agents, “it was concluded that there was no fruit and vegetable production, of the boxes, or of the pallets that supposedly would have been damaged,” the statement specifies. The alleged victims had falsified estimates, invoices and delivery notes, and had used license plates that were also from the company itself to fake the exchanges of the merchandise, which could be found to never really exist.
The researchers have followed the trace of the money, verifying that the compensation received had been distributed equally among the five authors. The Civil Guard has detained four people and investigated another, in the town of Rafal. The detainees are three men between 22 and 60 years old, and a 58-year-old woman. The fifth person, who has been investigated, is a 44-year-old woman. All of them are of Spanish nationality. The functions were distributed in a clearly hierarchical way. There are family ties between them.
They are charged with a crime of fraud, a crime of document falsification, and a crime of belonging to a criminal organization. Some of the authors have a history of similar events, currently having pending cases for such events. The alleged perpetrators have been brought to justice, being released with charges.