Catalan police have arrested a network of fraudsters who allegedly deceived businessmen and directors of football clubs, including Getafe, into thinking an Arab sheikh was interested in investing in their business.
Cadena SER has reported that Ángel Torres, Getafe's president, had been promised an investment of 10 million euros but the club never received the money because the sheikh who was supposed to be providing the investment never existed.
The victims of the fraud, including Torres, were required to transfer funds as a guarantee of solvency to a bank account belonging to the fraudsters. The victims paid the money but the investment never appeared.
The fraudsters organised business trips to Arab countries with their victims and had a luxurious office in a wealthy Barcelona neighbourhood, where photos were found of the fraudsters pictured with influential politicians and King Juan Carlos. They organised meetings in luxurious hotels which were attended by a false Arab sheikh, who was in fact a Brazilian waiter who was paid 50 euros to dress up as a sheikh.
Directors from Espanyol also travelled to Dubai to meet with the fake 'Arab multimillionaires' but were later informed that they were being swindled. A number of football clubs and businesses have been victims of the fraud.
At the moment seven people have been arrested in the investigation, with two detainees being named as Joan Batalla and Marc Toscas.