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Police bust suspected holiday illness scam

Police bust suspected holiday illness scam
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Two British women are under arrest in Majorca, accused of masterminding a hotel food poisoning scam on the Spanish island.

Deborah Cameron, 59, and her daughter Laura Joyce, 28, allegedly used touts to encourage British holidaymakers into faking food poisoning in return for compensation.

Eight other people were also taken to court in Palma and police have reportedly raided several properties in connection with the alleged fraud.

Media reports say the suspected scam has been under investigation for several months, following complaints from hoteliers.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) says holiday sickness claims by UK tourists have risen by more than 500% in the last three years, despite a drop in actual cases of food poisoning reported in resorts.

One hotel association in Majorca estimates that fake claims cost their members some 45 million euros in 2016 alone, and ABTA says many hotels in Spain and Turkey have dropped all-inclusive packages because of the cost of largely fraudulent compensation claims.

ABTA is urging UK lawmakers to place a limit on legal fees that can be charged by firms pursuing overseas compensation claims.