From kidnapping to gambling spree
A woman in Spain faked her own kidnapping and used some of the €6,000 ($6,954) ransom money paid by her husband to play bingo.
Her husband was in hospital
Spanish police have started an investigation into the events after taking the 47-year-old woman into custody. Her husband was in hospital when he received messages from his wife saying that someone had taken her hostage. The messages outlined the steps he had to follow in order to free her, including paying the €6,000 ($6,954) ransom money.
An elite kidnap unit, alerted to the potential abduction by the husband, discovered that the woman’s claims were false after she withdrew the ransom money at a bank in Badalona, near Barcelona. She then proceeded to spend the cash at a nearby casino.
Caught in the act
The Mossos d’Esquadra police force found surveillance footage of the woman withdrawing the ransom funds before spending it in a Badalona casino. In the video, she uses the hand sanitizer dispenser at the entrance of a casino before walking by slot machines in order to get to the bingo hall.
Police arrested the woman while she was playing a bingo game on suspicion of extortion and faking a crime. After a private hearing, a judge granted her bail while the criminal probe continues. A spokesperson for Mossos d’Esquadra outlined how officers had arrested a 47-year-old Spanish woman “for pretending to be deprived of her freedom and claiming her captors were demanding €6,000 (£5,077) to release her alive.”
The statement goes on to outline how the woman’s husband got in touch with local police after receiving numerous phone messages regarding the abduction. The police advised the husband to pay part of the ransom.
Other baffling gambling-related crimes
Over the years, there have been numerous instances of similar gambling-related crimes taking place all across the world.
Police found the 60-year-old offender gaffer-taped and tied up
In 2019 for instance, a man in New York faked his own kidnapping in an attempt to avoid paying out $50,000 worth of Super Bowl wagers after his online betting pool scam went wrong. Police found the 60-year-old offender gaffer-taped and tied up in his truck, claiming that someone had abducted him and robbed the money.
Outside of the world of kidnapping, 2021 has featured many gambling-related crime stories in the news that have left people scratching their heads. In June, police arrested the principal of a California catholic school for embezzling $835,000 in order to fund her gambling addiction. The nun’s offenses have cost her a 40-year prison sentence.
More recently, in Massachusetts, the US District Court has charged a father and his two sons over a $21m lottery ticket cashing scheme. A judge charged them with fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion for the family-run venture.