The Spanish National Police dismantles 2 migrant smuggling networks that facilitated movement between Morocco and the Canary Islands
Spain’s Interior Ministry revealed that the country’s national police had dismantled two interconnected criminal organizations involved in migrant smuggling activities between Morocco and the Canary Islands.
According to the Spanish authorities, the leaders of these two criminal networks are responsible for the arrival of 204 Moroccan migrants on the coasts of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
“The leaders of the organizations would be responsible for the arrival on the coasts of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura of six boats with 204 Moroccan migrants”, the ministry statement said.
The leaders of these two criminal networks charged an average of €3,000 to each migrant for their service. Considering such a high amount, it is estimated that the profit of the networks is around €612,000.
After carrying out several investigations, the Spanish police were able to arrest eight people, three of whom are currently in pre-trial detention.
The ministry revealed that of the eight people, four were arrested in the province of Las Palmas, two in Murcia and one in Vizcaya. Moreover, it was noted that three of these individuals remain in provisional detention.
“After several investigations and procedures carried out by the national police, it was possible to clarify the existence of two criminal organizations dedicated to the smuggling of Moroccan migrants, perfectly structured and connected to each other, which operated from the Moroccan coast. in the Canary Islands,” noted the ministry.
The latter said that once the agents had gathered all the necessary evidence, around 100 police officers carried out several searches at the leaders’ homes. During these actions, the police were able to find numerous electronic devices as well as documents related to different transactions carried out by migrants.
“The eight people arrested during the investigation have been made available to the judicial authority as presumed responsible for violations of the rights of foreign citizens, membership in a criminal organization and false documents”, added the ministry.
The Spanish police have carried out various operations this year. Earlier in May, the Home Office revealed that the National Police were investigating four British citizens who allegedly forged padrón documents.
Authorities said the four had forged padrón documents so they could obtain Spanish residency status after the UK left the European Union.
The four individuals still under investigation are based in the Canary Islands.