Palma police acted against tricksters last year. | Alejandro Sepulveda

The Provincial Court in Palma has ordered a court of instruction investigation into "trilero" three-card or cup tricksters. The court has accepted an appeal by the hoteliers association in Playa de Palma against the decision to close a previous investigation because the trick wasn't considered to be a fraud.

A court of instruction will now re-examine the criteria and investigate both possible fraud and criminal organisation. Five other suspects are therefore due to appear before this court in relation to a case for which there were eight previous suspects.

In March and April last year, Palma police acted against trilero clans. This resulted in administrative penalties but not criminal ones. The judgement was that people participated through their own freewill and assumed the risks involved.

The hoteliers association lodged an appeal on the basis that each case should be assessed to determine if there is or is not sufficient "swindle".

Members of the trilero clans have twice been found guilty in the past for what are described as "mild frauds" as well as for belonging to criminal groups. They have also been accused of theft from tourists who gather around the tables used for the trick.