Expats and tourists in Spanish reports targeted by criminal gangs

Published:  24 Jun at 6 PM
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Expats and British tourists in Spanish resorts are being warned over gang robberies.

Just as the tourism high season starts in popular Spanish resorts including Benidorm and the Majorca destination of Magaluf, gangs of robbers are spiking revellers’ drinks and stealing their belongings. Expats as well as tourists are at risk, with prostitutes and pickpockets arriving in Spain from Nigeria as part of organised gangs. The influx of criminal gangs at this time of year isn’t new, but this year’s report suggests more criminals than ever are targeting Spain’s popular expat and visitor hubs.

Social media is playing its part in warning foreigners to stay alert, don’t leave their belongings for even a minute and don’t leave their drinks unattended. Gangs are spiking drinks left on bars and robbing the drinkers once they’ve succumbed to the drugs. Spanish police are working overtime to protect visitors and expat residents, with one Romanian woman arrested after she stole £400 from a Briton, and another was caught after she’d stolen a £5,000 wristwatch from a pensioner.

One British owner of a local bar told reporters the prostitutes and pickpockets are all part of one gang which loiters outside bars after midnight and picks off drunken revellers attempting to walk home or to a nearby hotel. The women distract the men, pretending to be prostitutes, and pickpocket them. One unfortunate British man had left his drink unattended, and was found later on the beach with his wallet, phone and even his trainers missing.

During last year’s summer season, bar owners and taxi drivers formed a vigilante group to keep the gangs away from popular streets in Magaluf in order to protect their livelihoods, as would-be visitors are being put off by the annual influx of criminals.
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