ONCE seller arrested for fraud

An ONCE lottery ticket seller from Torrevieja is under investigation for fraudulently claiming that his house had been burgled and that €4,000 from the sale of vouchers had been stolen. The 52 year old man is believed to have tried to obtain more than €6,500 from an insurance company in compensation for the simulated robbery.

ONCE is the Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles or National Organisation of Spanish blind people. It aims to raise funds to provide services for the blind and those with serious visual impairment. It is well-known for its charity lottery tickets known as Cupóns.

The man claimed that the €4,000 stolen from his house had been collected from the sale of the lottery tickets and that more unsold tickets valued at €1,500 along with jewellery worth €1,000 had also been stolen.

Following the denuncia made by the man, an investigation was carried out at his home. Although initially it looked as though a robbery had taken place, there were some indications that this was not the case.

Further research into the claim showed that the same man had made a similar one some years earlier. In the same manner, the man had taken out  expensive insurance cover only days before the robbery allegedly took place. Combining all the evidence the Guardia Civil were finally able to arrest the man and charge him with fraud. Following his arrest, he confessed to the crime.

This was the third attempt to collect insurance money fraudulently in the past two months. In December 2016, two other people were investigated for reporting thefts and claiminginsurance to cover their loss. The thefts were later found not to have taken place.

The Guardia Civil are keen to ensure that people are aware that claiming insurance money as a result of an invented crime like theft is in fact a crime in itself and can lead to a prison sentence.

Suzanne O’Connell