Thieves met fools: hundreds of Italians gave money

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Several Italian fraudsters, more than 10 people, were arrested after the police discovered that they had defrauded hundreds of people from whom they obtained a total of 400,000 euros by inventing a fictitious country in Antarctica, where the deceived people were promised more benefits, reports the dpa agency, quoted by Agerpres.

The Italian police announced on Thursday that the scammers lured the victims claiming that in this country there would be a low tax rate and that there would be no need for mandatory vaccination.

The case came to light in April 2021 following a police raid in Catanzaro, southern Italy, where investigators raided the so-called diplomatic headquarters of the “Sovereign Antarctic State of St George”.

More than 700 people from Italy applied for citizenship in the non-existent country, paying between 200 and 1,000 euros.

The 400,000 euros collected through fraud were “laundered” through an account in Malta.

12 people were placed under house arrest following an operation throughout Italy. They are accused of fraud, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

The police are investigating 30 other suspects in the same case.