Possible squat to rent scam uncovered


The arrest of two people at an illegally occupied villa in Alicante has led police to launch an investigation into a criminal organisation who would break into homes, squat in them and then offer the houses for illegal rent, unbeknownst to the actual owner.
The two arrests were made on Monday last at a villa just north of Alicante city. The suspects, two Spanish nationals aged 52 and 29, were charged with trespassing and criminal damage.
The house, which had previously been repossessed by the bank, had been bricked up to prevent squatters gaining access. It also had an alarm system but despite all this, the suspects still managed to gain entry to the house. The alarm was triggered and the security company alerted the police and luckily, footage of the intruders was captured before they disabled the cameras.
National Police and Local Police arrived to the scene and not only found the two men inside the property, but also found the wife of one of the men waiting inside a van parked outside. Before the arrest, the two suspects had barred the door of the house from the inside and officers seized a hatchet and a mallet, as well as the three alarm sensors and surveillance cameras which had been ripped off the wall.
The woman was not arrested and the two men were taken into custody and transferred to the police station to begin legal proceedings.
The National Police are now investigating whether those arrested are part of a criminal organization that is dedicated to squatting in homes that are empty, usually because they have been repossessed by the bank, to then offer them for illegal rental.