By Anna Ellis • 12 August 2022 • 13:05
Spain's Guardia Civil dismantles criminal organisation offering migrants false documents. Image: Guardia Civil/Interior Ministry
In a joint operation, agents of the Guardia Civil and the National Police have dismantled a criminal organisation based in Gran Canaria dedicated to providing migrants with false documentation to travel to mainland Spain or other European Union countries, the Guardia Civil confirmed on Friday, August 12.
Numerous young people were among the migrant users of this network. The false documentation provided showed the migrants to be of legal age thereby allowing them to escape from the centre for young people where they were housed and book a flight.
A total of seven people, mostly of Maghrebi origin, have been arrested (six in Gran Canaria and one in Ciudad Real) and have been charged.
The charges against them are for alleged crimes of belonging to a criminal organisation against the rights of foreign citizens and forgery of documents.
In addition, there is an eighth member of the organisation, who has been charged with the same offences and is currently in prison serving a sentence in another case.
During the police operation, three homes were searched where passports fraudulently used by the organisation, files with documentation to regularise the situation of illegal immigrants, falsified official documentation and mobile phones, among other things, were seized.
The organisation recruited migrants of Maghrebi origin, youngsters or adults, who had arrived on the islands by boat and held them in different places, while they prepared the false documentation and all the necessary infrastructure for their departure.
Once obtained, they took them to the different ports and airports on the Canary Islands, providing them with the necessary documentation to avoid detection.
On some occasions, the organisation’s couriers accompanied them during the air or sea journey thereby ensuring that the documents were returned.
It is estimated that this organisation organised more than 80 departures from the islands, and several of those who used their services with false passports or in the names of third parties were arrested.
The profits obtained exceeded €100,000.
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Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and 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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