Police in Spain have cracked the case of the crooked croupiers. Following an investigation that began several months ago, they arrested several employees and accomplices who allegedly stole at least €500,000 (US$532,800) by rigging gaming machines.
As a result of allegations of fixing the roulette games in five gambling clubs, police identified and arrested five suspects in the south of Spain and one suspect in Madrid. The latter is reportedly the leader of the group, reports Spanish media outlet Diario Sur.
The plot began to unravel last November after a casino identified unusual activity. However, it’s possible that the gang could have been orchestrating their scheme for much longer without being detected.
The Beginning Of The End
At the end of last November, the group carried out its missions in unidentified casinos in the southern beach cities of Fuengirola and Malaga in Andalusia. Soon after, once the properties realized what had happened, they contacted the police.
This prompted Spain’s National Police to launch an investigation. What they learned over the next few months was that casino employees, under the orders of the group, were able to control the roulette wheel payouts in order to carry out the robberies.
Police investigators found that the leader of the group organized the activity from his home in Spain’s capital city of Madrid. Assisting him as his right-hand man was an unidentified individual who helped carry out the fraud on site.
This individual traveled to different regions and stayed in hotels using false IDs. While there, he colluded with casino employees to fulfill the missions.
This included gaining access to the roulette machines to manipulate the computers. In one instance, a casino employee handed over a master key that gave him unfettered access to the premises.
Afterwards, the group was able to control the computer systems of the selected gambling clubs in order to create winning tickets. The criminals then exchanged them for cash at other casinos. Some of the tickets were worth as much as €40,000 (US$42,628).
The End Of The Game
The police dubbed their investigation “Game” and ultimately captured six suspects after determining that they had hit gambling houses in Malaga, Fuengirola, Murcia, Redondela and Madrid.
They found five of the criminals in Malaga and the city of Alhaurín de la Torre as a task group in Madrid moved in and arrested the leader. He was already a wanted man in Madrid on unspecified charges, so he immediately landed behind bars without the possibility of bail.
All now face charges that include criminal conspiracy, theft and fraud, on top of whatever charges the ringleader had pending against him. Depending on which way the prosecutors decide to present their case, they could be looking at a minimum of one year in prison or as many as 10.
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