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By Kevin Reardon / 2016-02-04 15:07:30

A total of 34 people were arrested in Orihuela last Tuesday as agents from the National Police and la Brigada Provincial de Extranjería y Fronteras de la Comisaría de Alicante, broke up a criminal organisation that has been issuing false contracts to people looking for work with fictitious companies.

The contracts have allowed recipients to defraud the Social Security System of more than half a million euros.

The investigation began last October when agents were tipped off about the existence of the group which was based in Orihuela. The organisation allegedly provided labour contracts for construction services to people allowing each to claim between 200 and 300 euros a month from the Social Security System. 

Those arrested have been charged with the offenses of forgery, embezzlement, membership of a criminal gang and crimes against social security. 

It is understood that a large number of those receiving false benefits are untraceable, some having returned to their countries of origin. 

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