You that visited Tenerife many years ago maybe remember a gang that were fooling money from the tourists on the beachfront. We called them "Black and White.
They had a couple of paper boxes on the top of each other out on the street . On top of them was a folded newspaper. Then on the top of the newspaper they had three glass mats. And under one of the mats there was a small white spot.
The rule of the game was you will get twice the money you bet on when you win. If you gave, as an example, 1000 pesetas you got 2000 back if you could point out where the white spot under one of the mats was.
They shuffled the mats back and forth saying ` black and white, black and white...Where is it?´
It was often many gangsters involved. One was standing at the box doing the trick. An other were standing beside acting like a tourist and then they had two other men standing down the street that called the one at the boxes if they saw a police.
If they didn't get any customers a couple of them went over to try the game and of course they won! They were so lucky and jumped and shouted. This made other tourists interested.
The shuffle went on slowly so everybody could se where the mat with the little white spot was. Then when somebody decided to bet and was looking for the money, the man suddenly turned the folded newspaper around a half lap and when the customer pointed out where he thought the spot was it had changed place.
The people that were spectators were not allowed to say anything.
We lived here in the wintertime 1998-1999 and were many times watching the sceam. It was terrible to se how much money they fooled from the tourists.
Later on there was a warning in the newspaper here on the island. Somebody had won a lot of money from this gang and when the person passed next corner there were some of the gangsters waiting for him to get the money back.
Today we have no problem with this kind of criminality here. The police force have been cleaning up which is nice. I wonder if there is an other place in Europe that has got as many polices as we have here on the south of Tenerife? You can see them everywhere.
A warning is necessary though when many of the electronic shops are still fooling the tourists.