The Spanish Civil Guard, through an operation named Sortie 23, has arrested seven people who are part of a criminal organisation that provided false documentation for immigrants and transferred the same to other areas of Spain or European countries, mainly Italy.
In a statement issued on May 13, Spain’s Interior Ministry also pointed out that in total, five people were arrested in Murcia, one in Valencia, and another in Huelva for the suspected crimes.
In addition, during the action, the investigators checked three other addresses and seized numerous documents, passports of third parties, money and mobile phones, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The country’s police also managed to arrest the leader of the organisation, who was preparing to facilitate, through illegal documentation, the departure of two more minors from Valencia to Italy.
The organisation in question was also recruiting immigrants of North African origin, mostly minors, who had arrived on the islands by boat. Then it detained them in a place before the journey.
“Once obtained, they were taken to the different Canarian airports, providing them with the necessary indications to avoid being detected. On most occasions, the organization’s passers accompanied them during the air journey, thus ensuring the return of the documentation,” the statement issued by the Ministry reads.
The Ministry also revealed that this organisation had arranged more than 100 departures from the islands, of which a high number of those who used the services with false passports or in the name of third parties were arrested during the investigations. The same added that the benefits received exceed €100,000.
This is just one of many cases of arrests carried out by the Spanish police in recent months, during which they have managed to arrest dozens of people who facilitate irregular migration.
Only in February of this year, nine people were arrested by the Civil Guard for committing more than a hundred frauds related to the regulation of the situation of irregular immigrants.
In this regard, the Ministry emphasized that this group has benefited from 500 to 700 euros to process the registration of city dwellings in the Foral Community of Navarre.
During the same period, the Spanish National Police, with the support of Europol, also dismantled a criminal organization and arrested six people who trafficked migrants between Algeria and Spain in the province of Alicante.
As the Ministry explains, such an organisation transferred migrants by fibre boats from the North African country to the coasts of Murcia and Alicante and from there to other parts of Spain by land transport.
As for the journey by boat, the migrants were obliged to pay an amount of €300 for the collection on the coast, €300 and €400 more for the transfer to other points.
The work of police has shown its results as in 2022, irregular migration to Spain has dropped by 25.6 per cent, from 41,945 arrivals recorded in 2021 to 31,219 in 2022.
Data provided by Spain’s Interior Ministry also revealed that compared to 2021 figures, illegal arrivals by sea fell by 27.9 per cent last year, representing a decrease of 11,170 people. Meanwhile, regarding irregular arrivals through sea, the figure has dropped to 445, which is 20.7 per cent less.