The scam is a common one in Spain, the dollar wash scam. In essence, the scammers say they have smuggled a load of foreign currency into the country by covering them with a special paint. They show the mug, sorry victim, how they wash the paint off with “special chemicals”, leaving a shiny new dollar note or whatever. They then ask for cash to buy the “special chemicals” in exchange for a cut of the currency.
The scammers got in touch with the victims when they were trying to sell a car online, and quickly lured them into their web. They got €10,400 off them and left them with a briefcase full of ink covered paper and some worthless chemicals, telling them to immerse the paper in the chemicals for three hours before legging it.
Three hours later, the three turreros, by now worried, called them up complaining it hadn’t worked. The scammers then got a further €1,800 off them by promising them a different chemical.
The Africans then legged it with the cash.
However, the Guardia Civil, in an unusually efficient moment, recognised them as old pros and caught them as they left the country via El Prat airport in Barcelona. They have been returned to Vera where they are currently sitting in the cells awaiting trial.