One of the suspects first approached a small group of tourists. He claimed to be Italian and asked if he could change some money. A little later his accomplices turned up claiming to be police officers. They told the tourists that they had been conned and that the money they had been given by the first suspect was forged. The bogus officers then seized the money as “evidence”.
The gang used the same trick 8 times and was able to fraudulently obtain thousands of euro. One witness says that they lost 3,300 US dollars.
"The three are part of a wider network known for having employed similar practice abroad”, a police spokesperson told journalists.
The suspects were caught thanks to automatic number plate recognition cameras that are in place around Bruges. The cameras were able to identify the criminals’ car and they were intercepted on their arrival in Bruges on Thursday morning. After questioning they appeared before an examining magistrate on Friday who placed them under arrest. Magistrates will decide on Tuesday whether they are to remain in custody.