The National Police of Spain, through a joint operation with the Customs Supervision of the Tax Agency, have arrested a total of 64 people who obtained false documents such as driving licenses, passports and identity cards in order to be able to move freely within the Schengen Area.
In a statement issued on May 18, the Spanish Interior Ministry also pointed out that police officers and agents of the country’s National Tax Agency in total seized 136 fake documents, all of which had European citizenship and were obtained through social networks at the cost of €1,000 to €3,000, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“The investigation was initiated by the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Agency, within the framework of its controls on parcel shipments from abroad, which had been selected using risk analysis techniques,” the statement reads.
According to the Ministry, the officials had then discovered the shipments with falsified documentation, so they contacted the National Police of Athens to verify the authenticity of the intercepted documents.
The same authority revealed that of the 64 people arrested, 24 of them were caught in Madrid. They were also accused of the criminal offences of smuggling, falsification of documents and against the rights of foreign citizens for favouring irregular immigration.
Recently, Spain has faced many such criminal cases of groups of people operating to facilitate irregular migration. During this month alone, in an operation called Sortie 23, the Spanish Civil Guard also arrested seven people who belonged to a criminal organization that provided false documentation for immigrants in the Canary Islands, and then transferred them to other areas of Spain or European countries, especially Italy.
As the Ministry explains, the police managed to arrest five people in Murcia, one in Valencia and one in Huelva. In addition, three other addresses were checked during the action, where the investigators seized numerous documents, passports of third parties, money and mobile phones as well.
At the same time, the Spanish police also arrested the leader of this organisation, who tried to facilitate the departure of two minors from Valencia to Italy with illegal documentation.
Moreover, in February of this year, a total of nine people were detained by the Spanish Civil Guard, who said that they committed more than a hundred frauds related to the regulation of the situation of irregular immigrants.
In this regard, the Ministry added that the group in question has benefited from €500 to €700 for the processing of the registration at townhouses in the Foral Community of Navarre. This organisation recruited migrants who sought to adjust their situation in Spain and who resided irregularly in Europe.