The National Police has dismantled in Madrid and Toledo a gang dedicated to swindling elderly people with the tocomocho scam and that went so far as to drug the victims to appropriate their money and jewelry.

As reported by the Police this Friday, 12 people from the same family clan have been arrested and five searches have been carried out at homes in Toledo (3) and Madrid (2). A large amount of jewelry, 243,000 euros in cash, lottery tickets, costume items and medications, among other effects, have been recovered.

So far, 14 criminal acts have been recorded. Those arrested used medication to override the will of the victims, who were then taken to a bank branch and their homes to steal large amounts of money and jewelry.

The investigation began in November of last year after receiving several reports of scams on elderly people using the method known as the tocomocho. These actions brought together common patterns that suggested that the same criminal network could be involved in all of them.

The criminal organization was highly specialized and was made up of members of the same family clan that had been carrying out this type of crime for more than 40 years. The trust that existed between its members allowed a perfect distribution of tasks and benefits in their criminal activities.

During the investigations, the agents confirmed that the members of the gang were constantly moving throughout the national territory, using caravans and a multitude of different vehicles to evade police controls. They also verified that in some of the actions, the clan went from using the skill of deception to the use of violence against the victims who, due to their age and physical conditions, were intimidated when they reacted to the deception.

On certain occasions, the modus operandi went from deception to the use of chemical submission, for which, according to researchers, they used benzodiazepines to nullify the will of their victims, mainly elderly people. Once they achieved the desired drowsiness effect, they were taken inside bank branches to withdraw large amounts of money, or to the victims’ homes to steal their jewelry.

The clan flaunted its high standard of living through its social networks, without being known about professional or work activities that gave rise to said earnings. When traveling by vehicle, if they detected that they were being followed by the agents, they did not hesitate to flee at high speeds, causing serious danger to traffic.

Once the investigators detected the location of all the members of the organization, the five searches were carried out, during which the 12 members of the clan were arrested. During the operation, a large amount of stolen watches and jewelry, 243,000 euros in cash, a sawed-off shotgun, cocaine along with supplies for sale were recovered, and 49 bank accounts and six pieces of real estate were blocked.

Those arrested are accused of their alleged participation in the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, fraud, robbery with violence, illegal detention, falsification of documents, illicit possession of weapons and against public health. The investigation remains open and it is not ruled out that new victims may appear.