The Mossos d’Esquadra have dismantled a group specialized in organizing illegal macro parties during the pandemic in rural houses in Catalonia. The agents have arrested three people who are attributed at least 25 crimes of fraud and document forgery. The alleged perpetrators were dedicated to holding events in rural tourism homes, without the consent of the owners, and without paying the amount for the rental of the space, the hospitality material or the purchase or contracting of basic services. In this way, they obtained the full benefit of all those attending the party directly, derived from the sale of tickets or drinks. The investigation estimates the amount defrauded at 200,000 euros.
The alleged perpetrators contacted those responsible for rural tourism housing or service companies, concealing their identity under false information. In some cases, they used copies of documentation from other people or used a third person as an intermediary, who was unaware of the real intention of the tenants.
Once they initiated the contact, their intention was to pay the amount of the rental or purchase through a bank transfer that turned out to be simulated and false. They sent by e-mail or instant messaging a proof of bank transfer with false data, making the recipient believe that due to the proximity of the weekend, the payment would not be made until a few days had passed.
This entire criminal sequence took place in a very short space of time, approximately 24 hours, counting from the start of contact with those responsible for homes or companies until the party was held.
Although the capacity of the houses they rented did not exceed 10 or 15 residents, the final number of people who attended the parties was estimated between 300 and 400. Those investigated did not give the location of the party until late at night to reduce the costs. risks of possible police action. The criminal group was perfectly organized, since they had very well assigned the specific functions of each of them.
The rural tourism homes where the festivities took place are located in the Maresme, Noguera, Garraf, Pla de l’Estany, Alt Camp, Baix Empordà, Gironès, Bages, Osona, La Selva and Tarragonès counties.
The three detainees went to court on April 8, with more than 25 facts altogether imputed to the criminal group, and the judicial authority decreed their release with charges. Apart from the criminal acts attributed to them, complaints were also processed for infractions of the law of administrative regulation of public shows and recreational activities, for the celebration of this type of events the corresponding authorization, and for non-compliance with health regulations. in prevention of COVID-19.