An Irishman has been warned he faces more than eight years in jail if convicted over a luxury Spanish holiday allegedly paid with a fake credit card.
He has been summoned to a court in the Majorcan capital Palma on Thursday with three other suspects – a Brit and two Germans.
The men, all in their twenties, were held after running up a four-figure bill at two hotels on the holiday island with cards which were supposedly cloned or stolen.
The alleged fraudsters are said to have stayed in suites costing up to €844 a night at the five-star Hilton Sa Torre in Llucmajor, an inland town in the south of Majorca, for two nights and feasted on octopus, sirloin steak and paella washed down with Moet and Chandon champagne in the hotel’s exclusive Arxiduc restaurant.
Their €10,353 hotel bill was allegedly settled with a false credit card in the name of a US-based geology firm and the alarm raised when they were asked to pay for another €1,776 in drinks and more room service they had ordered.
They disappeared after leaving ‘Don’t Disturb’ signs on their rooms.
The four suspects were held on July 14, 2018 at an upmarket Magaluf beach club after they had already checked into an another four-star hotel nearby in the popular party resort.
They were released on bail after appearing before an investigating judge, but re-arrested after a manager at the Me Mallorca hotel where they were continuing to enjoy their sunshine hols phoned police to say they were intending to leave early without paying their €1,081 bill.
Officers are said to have found a card-cloning device in one of their rooms and several credit cards that had been cloned or stolen.
The four suspects have not been named ahead of their court appearance and have only been identified by their initials.
Prosecutors have indicated they are seeking an eight-year, three-month prison sentence for each of them if they are convicted of fraud and possession of credit card falsification equipment.
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The men would also be asked to compensate the hotels if they are found guilty at trial.
Thursday’s court session has been categorised as a ‘vista previa’ or preliminary hearing.
They are sometimes held in public in Spain and often serve the purpose of resolving whether suspects intend agreeing to plea bargain deals with prosecutors ahead of trial.
A minor is also believed to have been arrested along with the four adult suspects.
It was not clear on Monday if he has been dealt with by way of a separate prosecution or officials decided to