The Guardia Civil yesterday arrested a director of Mallorca Investment, a real-estate agency on the Joan Miró Avenue in Palma, in connection with what is being described as potentially the biggest property selling scam ever in the Balearics.
The agency is being investigated for fraud, money laundering and criminal organisation. It was one of six real-estate agencies that were raided in Majorca yesterday along with two more in Barcelona. The police operation, dubbed Lloriguera, is being conducted under conditions of court secrecy and is said to involve sums of up to three million euros or more and to affect some 200 purchasers.
The investigation centres on properties that were supposedly being bought off-plan and for which purchasers had made deposits. The properties have not been built and the money has not been returned. Those who are facing accusations are Spanish and, in one case, Italian.
The Guardia Civil, searching for documentation and money, used a sniffer dog called Coco who is trained to detect money - euros, pounds, dollars, whatever.