The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Bri­tons held in Ma­jorca in war on hol­i­day bug cow­boys

- By Ger­ard Couzens

TWO Bri­tons sus­pected of en­cour­ag­ing hol­i­day­mak­ers to make dis­hon­est com­pen­sa­tion claims have been ar­rested in Ma­jorca.

The pair were held on Fri­day in what are be­lieved to be the first ar­rests of their kind in Spain.

The move fol­lows Mail on Sun­day in­ves­ti­ga­tions which have found rogue claims firms in the UK are en­cour­ag­ing Bri­tish tourists to lie about be­ing taken ill to claim thou­sands of pounds. The prac­tice is cost­ing the travel in­dus­try mil­lions – which could push up the cost of hol­i­days.

The pair, who have not been named, are ex­pected to face a ju­di­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter be­ing quizzed by po­lice. They are be­lieved to have tar­geted hol­i­day­mak­ers in ho­tels in Al­cu­dia, Ma­jorca.

Their ar­rests fol­low a cam­paign by hote­liers in Spain, and other hol­i­day hotspots such as Greece and Por­tu­gal, against bo­gus claims. Last month, the For­eign Of­fice warned hol­i­day­mak­ers in Por­tu­gal they would face le­gal ac­tion if they sub­mit­ted false claims.

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish Travel Agents says there has been a 434 per cent rise in the num­ber of gas­tric ill­ness claims from Bri­tish tourists since 2013, with pay­outs of as much as £2,000 in some cases.

UK vis­i­tors to Spain and Por­tu­gal are said to be the worst of­fend­ers.

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