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Phantom airline scam grounds 67 passengers

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Phantom airline scam grounds 67 passengers
Spanish police believe the fraudster targeted Paraguayan citizens because of the lack of a renowned airline with regular charter flights to the South American country. Photo: Benson Kua
17:33 CEST+02:00
A Madrid man has been arrested for setting up a fake airline which cheated 67 people out of a total of €50,000.

Forty-three-year-old Alberto Q.P. had no fear in promoting himself as the owner of an airline company with great flight offers.

He set up a website, opened two fake travel agencies, advertised on local radio and promoted his “cheap” rates by handing out leaflets in the streets.

Spanish police believe the fraudster targeted Paraguayan citizens because of the lack of a renowned airline with regular charter flights to the South American country.

It wasn’t the first time Alberto Q.P. had engaged in similar malpractices, having already cheated 21 people in 2009 with a fake flight from Madrid to Equatorial Guinea.

Spain’s Aviation Security Agency AESA has warned travellers to take precautions if booking a flight with an unknown airline, especially in the run up to Christmas when fraud cases like this one are particularly common.

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