Police warm farmers of British con artists getting free fruit & veg

It seems a new scam is hitting the local farmers.

In essence, a group of finely dressed toffs speaking English appear that the fruit markets and directly contact farmers, offering to make large purchases of fruit and veg on behalf of well known British firms. Impressive contracts with company logos are waived around and signed. All banking details are supplied, so credit checks are run and the existence of credit confirmed, so all appears well. This is how business is run, it seems – these “well known British firms” lodge financial guarantees with the local fruit markets, and then negotiate purchases with farmers using these guarantees and insurance details to cover the purchase. Once the shipment is received back in the UK and checked, the money is transferred.

So shipments of fruit & veg are then sent off to Blighty, and usually handed over at the ports to a “local transport company” (I’m guessing a Del-boy in a rented five wheeler).

The farmers, of course, never receive a penny for these shipments, and when they call the well known British firms, discover that the contracts are false.

The fruit and veg disappears into the markets of London, never to be seen again.

Cunning! It seems the scam has been going on quite a bit up north, and the Catalans had a crackdown, so the scammers have popped up again here in Almeria. The National Police have been asking farmers to contact them if a buyer is insisting that the shipment be handed over in the ports rather than delivered to a proper depot.

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