“Deaf-mute” women arrested in Santa Cruz for extortion and fake organization

Two 18-year-old women have been caught red handed by police in C/. Méndez Núñez, Santa Cruz, while they were trying to force a tourist to hand over money for the Asociación Regional para Discapacitados Sordomudos y Niños Pobres (Regional Association for the Disabled Deaf-Mute and Poor Children). Police say that the organization does not exist.

The arrested women are said to be foreigners who who passed themselves off as deaf-mute, using a certificate of the non-existent “association” fraudulently incorporating the Tenerife Cabildo’s logo.

The police were tipped off by a call from a concerned passer-by, and observed the two young women grabbing a tourist’s arm in an attempt to force him to give them money. They tried to flee when they spotted the officers. Police say that this is an increasing type of offence in the centre of Santa Cruz, and the preferred victims are tourists. C24H

Deaf-mute appeals are not uncommon in the tourist areas of south Tenerife either. If you are approached in this way, do check what organization they claim to represent. Most often a card is left on a dining table in a restaurant. Anyone claiming to be collecting on behalf of the Asociación Regional para Discapacitados Sordomudos y Niños Pobres is clearly doing so fraudulently.

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