Arrests made for smuggling 1,000 Pakistani immigrants into Spain

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Spain’s National Police have dismantled a human trafficking network that brought some 1000 irregular immigrants to Barcelona during 2019.

The immigrants, all of them of Pakistani origin, were taken by minibus from Turin (Italy) to Barcelona in exchange for €500 per person 

Eight people have been arrested – seven in the province of Barcelona and one in San Fernando (Cádiz) – and four homes have been searched in Barcelona, where €15,000, 400 grammes of gold in jewellery, 17 mobile phones, electronic tablets and various documents have been searched 

The investigation began when French police informed Spain’s National Police that a Spanish citizen had been arrested on French territory for transporting an irregular Pakistani immigrant from Italy to Spain in his vehicle. 

During the course of the investigation, the agents discovered the existence of an organisation based in Barcelona that was engaged in bringing irregular immigrants of Pakistani origin from Italy to Spain. 

For the recruitment phase, the network had several members in Barcelona whose mission was to establish contact with intermediaries based in Italy, who sought out and selected the Pakistani immigrants who were to be transferred to Spain. 

The organisation under investigation also had drivers, Spanish citizens who used legally rented minibuses to travel to Turin and pick up immigrants who then drove to Barcelona. 

Although the minibuses used were for nine people, it has been possible to verify that in some journeys the organisation introduced up to 17 immigrants. Once in Barcelona, the immigrants were held by the criminal organisation for the time necessary to verify that the required payment had been made. 

The police operation ended with the arrest of the alleged leader of the network and seven other members as alleged perpetrators of crimes of membership of a criminal organisation and against the rights of foreign citizens. 

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Written by

Dilip Kuner

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