Which? publishes Global Great Hotels timeshare scam story

The July edition of Which? magazine features a report on the millions lost by people investing in an unlawful timeshare scheme uncovered by KwikChex. Please click the images below (and double click within to enlarge) to read the Which? article.

The renowned consumer organisation Which? has followed up on initial reports by KwikChex of a timeshare scheme that was sold as an investment opportunity, by a company calling itself Global Great Hotels (GGH). Describing the product as being ‘Real Estate Units’. It has been established by KwikChex that what was actually being sold were merely what are known as timeshare floating weeks, within the Ona Vacation Club system – a timeshare membership club owned and controlled by Onagrup – one of Spain’s largest tourist accommodation businesses.

Onagrup’s involvement

Onagrup has denied any responsibility for the huge losses and distress suffered by those that fell victim to what is a multimillion Euro fraud, telling Which? that their involvement was limited to providing maintenance services for the hotel accommodation that was central to the scam – but KwikChex investigations have revealed there was far more involvement by Onagrup – illustrated by their website Ona Vacations Club (onavacationsclub.com), which has been shown to be only a part of the Ona part in the GGH scam. Ona also said that the reason they had threatened legal actions against the victims that had refused to go on paying annual fees to one of their companies was justifiable because they owed money to Ona for maintaining the hotels Ona manages. This is clearly not the case, since by Ona’s own admission, no contract exists between Ona and these people – and the contracts that Ona accepted to enrol the victims into the Ona Vacation Club were unlawful – misrepresented, and non-compliant with EU Timeshare Regulations. Furthermore, as the GGH victims that are refusing to pay are no longer using Ona hotels, they are not responsible in any way for the upkeep of the properties.  KwikChex is insisting that as a first and immediate step Onagrup desists from trying to collect fees from those that do not want to holiday with them – and refunds fees that have already been paid where no holidays are being taken. Additional to this, KwikChex will shortly present evidence to Onagrup that demonstrates that without their involvement, the scams could not have taken place – and are asking Onagrup to enter into settlement negotiations.

KwikChex investigations and actions

The KwikChex investigation has also revealed multiple layers of collusion and connected activities that are exacerbating factors, which resulted in further financial losses, and helped enable the scams to take place. These include the involvement of a UK, FCA-regulated financial advisor who arranged remortgages (equity release) loans that were used to pay the huge sums to Global Great Hotels, and bogus ‘compliance and registration services’. Some have also lost more money by paying to advertise their timeshare weeks for sale, when the situation is that they are impossible to sell.

KwikChex can also reveal that the main person behind Global Great Hotels is a French national, living and owning businesses in Mallorca, named Jacques Abelac. He has been involved in similar schemes in the past, including a business called Restotel – with many of those that bought into Restotel, being subsequently persuaded to invest in, and switch to the Global Great Hotels scheme, after Abelac closed down the Restotel business. Abelac also owns the Mallorca-based business that falsely purported to be providing compliance and registration services for the GGH products – a business named General European Consulting (GEC).

KwikChex has established the identities of all those involved, and the roles played by each, and has commenced financial recovery and law enforcement processes. Chris Emmins, KwikChex CEO says –

“The Global Great Hotels scam is one of the largest and most devious fraudulent schemes we have seen since we started up in 2010. The sums paid, and the promises made are staggering, and are having life-altering effects, and we are determined to see justice prevail.”

 

The GGH members Facebook page can be found on this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/249746151101205

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