Greek police arrested a 56-year-old woman in Athens who is believed to be a member of a criminal ring that committed fraud and forgeries against property owners and prospective buyers.
The woman was arrested on Tuesday the moment she took pre-marked banknotes from a prospective buyer of a property, to whom she had falsely presented herself as an authorized representative of the owner and seller.
It was at the end of last November, when a lawyer representing an expatriate colleague living in the United States, reportedly filed a complaint against the woman at the office of the Property Rights Protection Sub-Directorate.
The lawyer was supposed to buy a property in Glyfafa, south Athens, worth 1,300,000 euros, but he smelled fraud.
Following the woman’s arrest police has reportedly also identified three more suspects, two men and a woman, who are at large..
The police report filed against the woman and her accomplices include the crimes of fraud, forgery and obtaining a false certificate, with the intended financial benefit exceeding the amount of 120,000 euros, violation of legislation on money laundering and on the illegal processing of personal data.
Investigation revealed that members of the gang approached prospective buyers and introduced themselves as owners, attorneys or intermediaries of the owners of plots of land and property, showing fake identity cards, without the knowledge of the real owners.
After agreeing on the purchase with the buyers, the members urged them to gather the necessary paperwork to draw up a contract of sale. After convincing the victims that the deal was legal, they would ask them for a deposit on the advance agreement, the preliminary agreement and the final contract, collecting from them the respective amounts either in cash or by transfer to bank accounts. After receiving the money, they disappeared.
Last October the fraudsters managed to deceive the legal representatives of a company and to grab 15,000 euros for the purchase of a plot of land also in Glyfada.
Security officers are expected to request the prosecutor to release details and photos the criminals in the ring as they believe the two incidents are not the only attempts to defraud citizens.
Authorities believe the gang has been active at least since September 2021.