Policia Nacional have arrested a 39-year-old woman suspected of scamming more than €10,000 from at least five foreign restaurateurs on the south of the island island on the false premise that her daughter was suffering from a serious illness and then died after a failed operation, supposedly in Houston, Texas, for which she allegedly needed to raise money.



The detainee has been accused of fraud, forgery of documents, the usurpation of public functions and the simulation of crime, according to a report from the Canary Islands Police Headquarters this Tuesday.

The woman forged official requests from various public entities that she then sent by email to various foreign residents on the island, with restaurant businesses, from whom she claimed money to pay outstanding debts, taking advantage of the fact that these business people were often unaware of the appropriate legislation, regarding these types of financial transaction.

In an attempt to avoid “long and tedious administrative procedures”, her donors made payments directly to accounts detailed in the emails, which, say the police, enabled the detainee to swindle more than €10,000  from five victims.

During the investigation, more than 30 bank accounts were identified, all in the name of the arrested person, with a constant flow of money entering and leaving each account, in some cases the balances reached up to €75,000, which were, in the end, then gambled away on betting platforms and other pages located in foreign countries.

In addition, the arrested woman is accused of having faked having a daughter with a serious illness and requested, through a social network, financial aid for an operation that she supposedly had to undergo in Houston, for which she raised a further €1,500.

Subsequently, an obituary was published on a web page communicating the death of the minor after not having been able to overcome her disease, where investigators also found several social media posts, with videos and messages of condolence.

Investigators were able to verify the falsity of both the serious illness suffered by the minor and her death and confirm that the minor is currently well and in good health.

The detainee has been placed at the disposal of the competent judicial authority and the investigation is still open with the possibility that there may be further victims to come forward having not been ruled out.


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