Cured and Stolen Ham

In these difficult times when a businessman closes a deal to sell 34,000 euros worth of Serrano ham, he could be described as ‘pretty excited,’ but by the time that the cheque bounces, he is just plain ‘excitable.’

The deal, which saw the purchase of 582 legs of cured ham, was done over the telephone. A lorry driver from Churriana de la Vega turned up to load the ham and once that was done, hand over the cheque. In a statement before the police, he later claimed that he had no idea that he was participating in a scam.

The nefarious cheque had been post dated and when that date came around, it turned out that there were no funds in the account, and what’s more, that the account wasn’t even in the name of the ‘purchasers,’ Instead it belonged to a defunct building company.

The police got bored with questioning the lorry driver – he still remains a suspect mind – and set about scouring the province for a suspicious amount of long-dead and severed pig legs. Before long they came upon a warehouse in Lanjaron where 190 suitably lost/looking pieces were found. The ham had not been delivered by the first driver, but by a 29-year old driver from Granada. The police believe that this man is not just an accomplice but perhaps the brain behind the transaction.

Now they’re up before a judge, accompanied by quite a good deal of incriminating evidence, less a few ham sandwiches which were eaten down at the police station… just joking. There is still the question about the whereabouts of the nearly 400 unaccounted for hams, which leads to a similar incident that occurred in that area in 2001, when 1,300 legs of cured ham were reported stolen, with a total value of 240,000 euros. It turned out to be a bogus robbery. The giveaway was that the windows that had allegedly been forced to gain entry to carry out the theft had been broken from the inside…

(News: Lanjaron, Alpujarra, Granada, Andalucia)