Almost a year after a series of frauds involving fake rental houseboats and holiday apartments, the criminal investigation begins on June 9th. As a spokesman for the Neubrandenburg district court said on Friday, a 43-year-old man has to answer for commercial fraud.

The accused comes from North Rhine-Westphalia. After a longer stay in Portugal, he was caught in the Cologne region in December 2021 and is in custody.

Together with a 39-year-old accomplice, he is said to have illegally offered photos of boats and holiday apartments from other providers on websites and collected advance payments. The men’s fake websites also advertised mountain huts, it said.

The 39-year-old was caught by target investigators in Belgium just a few weeks ago, and he is due to appear in court later.

The suspected fraudsters also named contact points in Rheinsberg in Brandenburg (Ostprignitz-Ruppin district), at the city port in Waren an der M├╝ritz or in Mellenthin on Usedom, but nobody was to be found there. After down payments of several hundred euros per case, contact with the fake providers was broken off.

The Mecklenburg Lake District and the Havel area, which stretches from Rheinsberg to Waren, have been popular houseboat areas for years.

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The duo is accused of around 200 cases of fraud with damage of 120,000 euros across Germany. The 43-year-old is said to be responsible for more than 140 acts alone. Initially, only one day of negotiations is planned.