By John Ensor •
Updated: 08 Dec 2023 • 11:04
Stock image of National Police.
Credit Policia Nacional/X
A gang that organised residence permits by arranging fake marriages has been closed down with arrests in Malaga, Cordoba and Jaen.
Following an in-depth police operation in Spain, authorities uncovered a criminal gang that managed to manipulate immigration laws for profit.
The National Police have apprehended 32 individuals in Jaen, Cordoba, and Malaga. This group is allegedly involved in a scheme that exploits residence permit regulations through fake partnerships, writes Malaga Hoy.
The fraudulent operation centred on arranging fictitious unions between citizens of Spain and individuals from the Maghreb region in North Africa, including Morocco.
These arrangements were designed to secure residence and work permits in Spain for non-EU nationals. The leader of the racket, a 43-year-old North African with a history of criminal activities, was among those detained.
The gang’s method involved recruiting Spanish women, mostly from Cordoba, who would register as genuine partners with Maghreb nationals. Payments of around €400 were made for these registrations.
The women, who had no real connection with their supposed partners, enabled migrants to acquire family member status of an EU citizen. As such, their status eased their path to obtain Spanish residence and work permits.
Investigators were initially tipped off by the significant age differences between the couples. Further scrutiny revealed that the Spanish partners had previously engaged in similar arrangements with other Maghreb nationals.
This pattern, alongside past arrests of some of the women involved in 2016 for similar offences, intensified police suspicions.
The organization predominantly operated in Pozo Alcon, Jaen, extending its reach to Cordoba and Malaga. Beyond mere registration as couples, the criminal group provided various forged documents, such as falsified registration certificates and social security registrations. The services the gang provided were priced up to €5,000.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
But, my long term partner plus 20 years. We both have children together. But, Spanish immigration repeatedly turn her and my non EU children down for a EU family visa. Despite meeting all the critiria.
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