The Guardia Civil searched properties and made arrests in September 2017. | Alejandro Sepúlveda


The Prosecutor's Office in Mallorca believes there is insufficient evidence to convict eight people accused of defrauding hotels by having encouraged false compensation claims for food poisoning that were presented to courts in the UK.

On Tuesday, a court in Palma ordered the trial of the eight, including Laura Cameron, alleged to have been the leader of a scam that ran into millions of euros. Although the Prosecutor's Office considers there to be insufficient evidence, the court has admitted three private prosecutions by the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation, MAC Hotels and Amla Explotaciones Turísticas.

The judge set bail of one million euros for the defendants in order to ensure the civil liabilities claimed by the private prosecutions, which are seeking sentences of between six and eight years.

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The case relates to 2016 and 2017 and to numerous claims that were made for compensation and which only required the evidence of a receipt for diarrhoea medication. With these claims, holidays could be free, and they took advantage of liberal consumer law in the UK.

In its report to the court, the Prosecutor's Office says that during the investigation it has not been possible to determine who the authors of the scam were or the exact transfer of assets resulting from the alleged false claims.

"It has not been possible to reliably prove" that three vehicles identified as having transported the individuals who were approaching British holidaymakers with the intent to get them to make false claims were linked to Laura Cameron and were actually for this purpose.

In addition, no documents or data were found during searches that implicate the people accused in "said illicit practice". The only thing to be proven is that British tourists were approached in order to collect their information, "but not that they induced them to make false statements about having suffered from any disorder, illness or poisoning".