Two women of Russian nationality have been arrested in Alicante for allegedly defrauding Ukrainian citizens by offering help with temporary protection procedures, by approaching victims in queues at police stations and offering them faster processing of their documents in exchange for money, defrauding them of 5,000 euros.
The National Police has reported that these women told Ukrainian citizens that they worked for the Police when they did not and, when discovered, threatened to cancel the refugee status of the victims, after charging them 250 euro per adult and 150 euro for a child, for speeding up the procedures.
The investigation began after police learned that Ukrainian citizens who were traveling to the National Police offices in Alicante were being approached by two women who offered them help in exchange for money to speed up processing, addressing them in their own language.
The alleged perpetrators took advantage of the ignorance of the refugees who had just arrived in the city and who went to the police station to obtain the documents that allow them to reside legally in Spain in order, after pretending that they were working with the Police, to make them believe that if they paid the fee, the procedures would be much quicker.
The arrested women, who had worked for years as official interpreters, knew the procedures to be carried out, so this situation gave greater credibility to the deception and, in addition, they entered and left the police offices pretending to work with the agents.
The alleged scam did not end with obtaining money from the victims, but when those affected discovered the deception and demanded their money back, the detainees threatened them saying that they had the capacity to annul the procedures and cancel the newly obtained documents.
Given the possible certainty of the threats, the victims chose not to file a complaint due to the precariousness of their situation.
So far, the investigators have found they would have pocketed a total of 5,000 euro for which they were arrested as responsible for the crimes of fraud, threats and coercion.