News, Culture & Society

Mum and daughter ‘ringleaders in holiday sickness scam’

A British expat and her daughter are being held in Majorca suspected of masterminding a holiday food poisoning scam.

Deborah Cameron, 59, and daughter Laura Joyce, 28, were arrested at a luxury family home in the upmarket suburb of Bendinat on the Spanish island earlier this week.

Legal sources last night said the pair were suspected of being ringleaders and hiring club PRs as touts to entice British tourists into fabricating or embellishing symptoms of gastric illness to get compensation.

The women are well known on the expat nightclub scene on the island. They are expected to appear in court today with five others arrested over the scam.

Deborah Cameron, 59, (left) and daughter Laura Joyce, 28, (right) have been arrested

Tge pair were arrested at this luxury family home in the upmarket suburb of Bendinat on the Spanish island earlier this week

Tge pair were arrested at this luxury family home in the upmarket suburb of Bendinat on the Spanish island earlier this week

Earlier this summer it was revealed that hundreds of food poisoning claims lodged by British holidaymakers were being investigated by authorities in Majorca. 

The claims are thought to cost the Spanish hotel industry £50million a year.

It came after lawyers acting for the Mac Hotels group handed police a dossier suggesting its losses alone could be as high as £4million – with 273 dubious claims from nearly 800 holidaymakers.

Computers and bundles of documents were seized in raids on properties and businesses on Tuesday morning.

Searches are understood to have taken place in the glamorous marina of Puerto Portals and the exclusive nearby residential area of Bendinat – where retired English footballer Jamie Redknapp owns a villa with his estranged wife Louise.

The mother and daughter suspects had last night not been charged. A judge is today expected to decide whether or not to release the pair as the investigation continues.

The women are well known on the expat nightclub scene on the island. They are expected to appear in court today with five others arrested over the scam

The women are well known on the expat nightclub scene on the island. They are expected to appear in court today with five others arrested over the scam

Laura Joyce's husband Stuart, who witnessed her arrest, runs Heroes Sports Bar in Portals Nous near Bendinat (pictured)

Laura Joyce’s husband Stuart, who witnessed her arrest, runs Heroes Sports Bar in Portals Nous near Bendinat (pictured)

A source said: ‘The arrests have followed months of investigation by the Civil Guard following complaints from hoteliers.

‘A wealth of material including computers and documents have been seized and is being analysed by experts.’

East London-born Mrs Cameron, who owns a nightclub and runs an events business, has written online about her ‘fantastic’ lifestyle abroad.

She said: ‘I live in a beautiful house in Mallorca which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.

‘I have three wonderful children, two adorable grandchildren and great friends, I’m living a fantastic, fulfilling life and every day is another step on an incredible journey.’

The pair were suspected of being ringleaders and hiring club PRs as touts to entice British tourists into fabricating or embellishing symptoms of gastric illness to get compensation

The pair were suspected of being ringleaders and hiring club PRs as touts to entice British tourists into fabricating or embellishing symptoms of gastric illness to get compensation

Laura Joyce has been described as a nightclub and pub owner in the popular party spot of Magaluf. 

Her Leicester-born husband Stuart, who witnessed her arrest, runs Heroes Sports Bar in Portals Nous near Bendinat. 

Last night he said: ‘We’re not saying anything at the moment.’ His wife had denied any involvement in the scam earlier this week when a Spanish-language local newspaper reported a car belonging to one of her firms had been used by compensation touts urging holidaymakers to make false illness claims. 

The expat admitted the vehicle was hers but said that particular business ‘had been closed for three years’.

In June a British man was arrested in Majorca on suspicion of encouraging tourists to make fake food poisoning claims. It was not clear if Tuesday’s operation was linked.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk