A group of scammers invented a country in Antarctica and made hundreds of thousands of euros selling "citizenship" in the fictitious tax haven.
Hundreds of Italians have been duped by scammers who told them they would get a host of benefits if they moved to a country in Antarctica.
The people applied for citizenship in a country that doesn't really exist.
The Nonexistent "Sovereign Antarctic State of St George"
According to DPA, the Italian scammers were arrested after they scammed hundreds of people out of €400,000 by inventing a fictitious country in Antarctica where the scammers were promised more benefits.
Italian police said that the scammers lured people by claiming that the country would have a low tax rate and no need for compulsory vaccination.
The case came to light in April 2021 following a police raid in Catanzaro, southern Italy, where investigators raided the so-called diplomatic headquarters of the "Sovereign Antarctic State of St George".
More than 700 people from Italy applied for citizenship in the non-existent country, paying between 200 euros and 1,000 euros.
The 400,000 euros raised through the scam was "laundered" through an account in Malta.
A number of 12 people were placed under house arrest following an operation throughout Italy. They are charged with fraud, forgery of documents, and criminal conspiracy.
Police are investigating 30 other suspects in the same case.