UK and Spanish police have arrested 110 people in one of the largest operations into tackling gangs who are accused of robbing millions of pounds in savings by duping people into investing in worthless or non-existant shares.
The crackdown on so-called "boiler room" fraud saw 84 people held in Spain, 20 in the UK, two in the United States and four in Serbia this week. The arrests can now be reported after a reporting ban was lifted by a Spanish judge.
Investigators from the City of London Police joined Spain's national police in targeting a number of organised crime gangs, aiming to take out the top levels of the networks as well as dozens of the alleged conmen who work for them.
Officers claim the gangs spent the stolen money on sports cars, designer watches, drugs and prostitutes, while one of the suspects was believed to be paying £40,000 per month to rent an apartment.