Several local farmers have complained to the Agrupacion de Defensa Sanitaria Ganadera (ADSG), a local farmers body, about a con man active in the Serranía de Ronda over the Christmas holidays who is alleged to have fraudulently obtained up to 2,400 sheep and goats for slaughter.
Accompanied by a livestock broker, the man is reported to have offered as much as 48€ per head, with ten farmers affected. Promissory notes were offered as payment to the farmers and livestock loaded onto trucks shortly after contracts had been signed. Sadly the notes have no backing, with some farmers now facing losses, in some cases as much as 15,000€.
The Christmas holiday period is one of the major sources of income to local farmers, many of them sell as much as 70% of their stock in this period as abattoirs and butchers gear up for the holiday buying season.
The fraudster is believed to have signed notes totaling 115,000€ and then offered the livestock to black market slaughterhouses since no record of the animals registration has been found in any of the legal slaughterhouse records.
In Ronda the Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional are investigating, and leads are being pursued. This is the first time a fraud of this nature is believed to have been carried out in the Serranía since the days of the mountain bandits in the 19th century.