875 people accused of obtaining false boat licenses from corrupt Almeria officials

It seems that only the Brits are idiots enough to flog through the hard process of getting a boat license after the Guardia Civil charged 873 people across Spain with fraudulently paying cash to corrupt officials in Almeria to get a fake one.

I wrote last year about how the head of Adra’s licensing board was flogging off boat licenses for 350€ apiece.

The scam involved him filling in all the paperwork saying the prospective Captain had passed all the exams, doctors checkups, etc etc etc without actually having to go through all the hoops. His mates would help out by signing the appropriate boxes on the forms, knowing well that the said exams hadn’t been carried out.

José Pompeyo Arqueros has had a distinguished career. Councillor for the PP in his hometown of Adra. 30 years in the Real Club Náutico de Adra, ending up as President and with a Gold Medal of Appreciation from the Spanish Sailing Federation for his good work. VP of the Andalucian branch of said Federation. So it’s a pity he got caught selling false pilot licenses, good for boats of your choice of up to six metres long.

Getting your pilot license used to be a nightmare in Spain (last year they changed the law to make it a lot easier) so José and the 24 mates arrested along with him had a good scam going.

Anyway, the Guardia Civil have now finished their investigation and arrested a further 2 people on charges of fraud (issuing fake licenses), charged 22 people with helping them (a Judge will now decide whether or not to arrest them) and a further 851 people are accused of purchasing these licenses.

It’s the biggest such operation ever launched in Spain and people have been charged in almost all the nautical provinces of Spain.

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