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News - Costa del Sol Archive 2002-9-11

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive

In association with

The Costa del Sol weekly newspaper, on sale at newsagents.

Week September 5th to September 11th

BUSINESSES CLOSED IN MÁLAGA FOR CARD FRAUDS

Magnetic strip copies at motorway toll booths

By Dave Jamieson

POLICE IN MÁLAGA HAVE REVEALED THAT THEY CLOSED TEN BUSINESSES AND ARRESTED 20 PEOPLE IN CONNECTION WITH CREDIT CARD FRAUD OVER A PERIOD OF YEAR.

The gang worked by copying the magnetic strip on genuine credit cards when they were presented for payment, then creating a fake card from it, a practice which is thought to have netted them goods worth two million euros. The authorities' crackdown came on those companies which had knowingly accepted the illegal cards.

News of the operation in Málaga came as a similar operation was broken up in Cataluña. Amongst those arrested there were toll operators on the A-7 motorway who are alleged to have duplicated 60,000 credit cards presented by drivers, leading to illegal purchases totalling six million euros.

CAUTION URGED

The head of the Police Fraud Group, Juan Titos, said that two or three denuncias relating to credit card fraud are received each day, and recommended users to check their accounts each week. Police also urge caution when using a cash-point or automatic teller, even taking care to cover the hand keying in the PIN number in case of observation from a hidden camera. They also recommend that credit cards should be kept under observation when in use and not be permitted to be taken away to be "swiped" out of sight.

 

UK TARGETS SPANISH TIMESHARE SCAMS

By David Eade

The British Government is to take action against dodgy Spanish based timeshare companies. Watchdogs will now crackdown on those operations that target Britons holidaying abroad. The Government has decided to act after it received thousands of complaints from British tourists. Britons say that timeshare companies, especially in the Canary Islands, make false claims and even threaten them. Now the Office of Fair Trading is to act. Director General, John Vickers, acknowledged there are unscrupulous operators at large. Under new powers the OFT is empowered to take action against timeshare rogues anywhere in the EU.

 

NEW NERJA HOSPICE SEEKS FURTHER FUNDS

Local charity approaches Phase Two of building project

By Dave Jamieson

WITH THE FIRST PHASE OF CONSTRUCTION ALMOST COMPLETE, A NERJA CHARITY IS ASKING FOR FINANCIAL HELP TO CONTINUE BUILDING A NEW HOSPICE.

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan have attended to the needs of the elderly in the town for many years, and in recent months have watched the skeleton of their new base grow alongside the River Chillar. When completed, the hospice will provide beds for 65, of which 30 per cent will be reserved for the terminally ill.

A WEALTH OF CONTRIBUTORS

In the last two years, the Ministry of Social Affairs has contributed 175,00 euros to the project, 90,000 euros has been received from the Nerja Caves Foundation, and fund-raising activities by supporters in the municipality have raised a further 245,000 euros, all contributing to the total spend so far of around 600,000 euros. The final cost is estimated at 2.1 million euros. Of this, 300,000 euros of which is earmarked for the Phase Two which will create the building's internal structure, with walls, doors, windows and other elements appearing between the concrete support pillars. The Ministry has now been approached for a further grant of 600,000 euros so that work may continue uninterrupted.

ABANDONED BABY IN ROQUETAS

Newly-born child rescued from rubbish skip

By Dave Jamieson

Almería police have arrested a 43-year-old Roquetas de Mar man in connection with a newly-born baby abandoned in a rubbish container in the town on August 20. The boy's mother, a 21-year-old German, had already been traced by police and detained in prison. The child, named Pablo is now in hospital in El Ejido and expected to make a full recovery, after treatment for respiratory problems. Friends and fellow-workers of the mother described her as a timid girl, and had no knowledge of her pregnancy. They said they noticed nothing strange on the day when she gave birth in the lavatory of a restaurant close to her home. She is alleged to have then placed the newly-born boy in a bag and left it, covered with cardboard boxes, in a rubbish skip, before returning to work and completing the day as normal, without raising any suspicion. The baby was quickly found by an Italian tourist who alerted the Guardia Civil. When the mother was detained, she said she was afraid of family reprisals if it became known she had had a child.

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