Arrests were made in Majorca in September. | Alejandro Sepúlveda

The court in Palma which is overseeing investigations into fraudulent holiday sickness compensation claims has been provided with extensive documentation by the National Police. The court is specifically interested in the possibility of there having been a criminal network responsible for the false claims scams by British holidaymakers in the Balearics and indeed elsewhere in Spain, notably the Canaries and Valencia (Benidorm).

The police have uncovered around 800 individual British tourists who claim to have suffered food poisoning and gastric complaints as a result of stays in hotels, almost always all-inclusive hotels. These tourists have filed their complaints via no fewer than 77 different firms (which may be law firms or the so-called "claims farmers"). Only a very small percentage of these tourists, the police have found, went to a doctor. This is evidence which reinforces the fact that claims can be made as easily as they have been in UK courts: a simple receipt for medication, usually imodium, can be sufficient to support a claim.

A profit motive, according to the police, lies behind all this, with UK consumer legislation being "twisted" in a clearly fraudulent manner. The police here are in contact with counterparts in other countries in seeking to find the main perpetrators of the alleged crimes. While holidaymakers themselves run the risk of legal action - imprisonment in the case of the couple prosecuted by Thomas Cook for totally false claims made against the Globales America Hotel in Calas de Mallorca - police are as interested in those behind the frauds.

In Majorca there were arrests in September of British citizens alleged to have been involved in the organisation of eliciting false claims by holidaymakers.