Network that arranged fake unions for illegal immigrants dismantled

NATIONAL POLICE have dismantled a network that organised fake unions of foreigners living illegally in Spain with Spanish or EU citizens so they could become legal.

By becoming the common law partners of Spanish or EU citizens, the illegal immigrants obtained legal residents in Spain as the relatives of EU citizens.
In total, 26 people have been arrested and two searches have been carried out – in a home and in an office – although the operation is still open.
The detainees include the head of the organisation, aged 23, who claimed to be a lawyer and legal advisor although he wasn’t, and his right-hand man who, along with five other detainees, are held responsible for the crimes of illegal immigration, document forgery, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organisation.
In addition, other essential collaborators for the network have been arrested.
The police investigation began in November and police discovered that the network was used to find partners for people wanting to legalise their situation in Spain. The illegal immigrants were found in Castellon and other area and required to pay amounts of between €6,000 and €8,000. The Spanish and EU citizens who agreed to the arrangement were recruited by the leader of the organisation and they were paid around €1,000.
Each member of the ‘couple’ was sent details about the other and in addition, homeowners were paid to allow them to register as residents at their address in order to prove’ that they lived together before a notary or registry office.
Once they had sealed their union, the non-EU citizen applied for residence online with the help of law firms in Castellon and Alicante.
Two other phases of the investigation are pending, in which the number of people under investigation is expected to double.

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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.


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