Police have uncovered an elaborate fraud which was duping holiday makers into believing that they were travelling under the English channel, when in fact they were just being taken on a crudely converted ghost train ride to emerge into a bit of Kentish wasteland nearby.
The criminal masterminds behind the elaborate scam had tricked thousands of would-be tourists into thinking that they had spent two weeks in France, after which they were guided back into the ‘chunnel’ to return to ‘England’, just a few hundred yards away.
‘No detail was spared,’ said Detective Inspector Hooper of the Kent police. ‘They had members of their gang wearing berets and strings of onions around their neck, and shrugging their shoulders in an unhelpful way. There were posh ladies with little poodles and 14-year-olds on mopeds smoking Gitanes – all re-created on an old industrial site just outside Folkstone.’
The gang had been charging hundreds of pounds for tourists to travel on the ‘Eurostar’, which was in fact a shoddily-converted fairground ride, while ‘France’ itself featured outdoor cafes, old men playing boules and a couple of over-aggressive gendarmes detaining anyone with a slightly North African appearance.
The massive fraud was finally uncovered when the criminals began to get careless, being more than happy to speak English and accepting that French rock music may not be the cutting edge of the art form. ‘I don’t care if it wasn’t really France,’ said one holiday maker who thought she was just returning from 10 days in the village of ‘Clouseau’. ‘They sounded pretty French to me; all that ‘Allo Allo’, and ‘Haw-he-haw’ and everything smelling of garlic. I had a great time with the local guide ‘Sacha’ – French men are so romantic, he even said he would give me a present. What is ‘French pox’ anyway – is it a fancy cheese?’