A conman who made USD 1 million from posing as an employee of a posh department store has been seized in Spain in an FBI raid dubbed “Operation Harrods”.
The Polish national – who has not been named – was arrested as he arrived at Barcelona airport from Dubai.
He was travelling on a diplomatic passport issued by Guinea-Bissau, according to officials.
The joint op by Spanish police and the FBI believes he is responsible for defrauding victims around the world out of more than USD 1 million (GBP 791,500).
One victim alone is said to have lost USD 700,000 by transferring money from the US to a front bank account in London.
Footage released by Spanish police shows investigators searching the suspect’s luxury sea-view villa in Ibiza.
The search is said to have discovered huge amounts of jewellery, electronic devices, documents and the key to a luxury vehicle.
The suspect was seized on an international arrest warrant, according to the Spanish National Police.
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Spanish National Police on Thursday, 29th June, saying that the suspect was arrested earlier this month (June).
The authorities also said: “During the search of his residence – a villa located in Ibiza – the agents seized numerous electronic devices, documentation of a corporate structure, and a large quantity of jewellery.”
The police said the suspect defrauded victims by posing as an employee of a large department store, which they did not name directly.
He would then convince his victims to transfer money to him before disappearing.
FBI investigators say the money was diverted to bank accounts in the USA, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Latvia, Monaco, Poland, Spain, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates.
The police experts are now studying five computers, nine mobile phones, two hard drives, four USB drives, and eight SIM cards for further evidence.
Spanish police added: “As the investigation progressed, investigators established that at least USD 700,000 were transferred by a US victim to a fraudulent UK account, under the name of a third party but controlled by the suspect.”
The suspect – who already has convictions for arms trafficking – is being held on suspicion of fraud, identity theft and money laundering.
Newsflash contacted Harrods for comment but had not received a reply at the time of writing.