Spanish Authorities Dismantle Speedboat ‘Taxi’ Gang Smuggling Migrants From North Africa

Migrant Boats Intercepted In Spain’s Costa Blanca image: guardia civil

SPANISH Authorities Dismantle Speedboat “Taxi” Gang Smuggling Migrants From North Africa to Murcia

The Spanish Guardia Civil, in ‘Operation Limestone’, has dismantled a highly organised gang of people-smugglers, by arresting its three leaders, based in the town of Fuente Alamo de Murcia in Spain’s south-eastern province of Murcia.

The men have been charged with being members of a criminal gang, and crimes against foreign citizens. The gang is known to also have members in North Africa.

The police divulged that the organisation was using as many as 20 speedboats per night, transporting 10 migrants in each boat, from North and Sub-Sahara locations, into Almeria, on the South-east coast of Spain, and apparently, depending on their finances, the migrants would be supplied with accommodation and a bank account.

The trips were arranged so that the boats would arrive at different locations along the Almeria coast each time, in order to avoid detection by police patrols.

The Guardia Civil investigation had started back in July 2020, when they identified one of the ringleaders of the gang, and then, on September 16, acting on intelligence, they learned of a plan to run a convoy of speedboats across from North Africa and sighted 16 speedboats at sea, as well as picking up more vessels via their surveillance systems.

Unfortunately, not all of the speedboats were intercepted, with some turning and escaping back to North Africa. The gang members are currently awaiting sentencing.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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