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26 Arrested for Smuggling Albanian Citizens to UK & Ireland via Spanish Airport


A total of 26 persons have been arrested, under the suspicion of providing falsified identification documents to Albanian citizens so they could fly to the United Kingdom or Ireland as their final destination through the Spanish airport.

During the investigations, the National Spanish Police discovered that some people involved in the criminal network of Albanian origin travelled weekly from Albania to Spain, through Serbia and Hungary, transporting Albanian immigrants in vans to Barcelona and Tarragona, Schengen.News reports.

Since the beginning of the investigations in 2019, six operational phases have been carried out in which 56 people were arrested, and different Albanian and Kosovar cells were dismantled, adding to the 26 carried out in the last phase of the operation that allowed the complete dismantling of the framework.

Spanish Ministry of the Interior

Spanish Police Dismantle Kosovo-Based Lab That Provided False Documents for Migrants

At the same time, the police dismantled a laboratory for creating fake documents in Kosovo. In addition, the criminal network was also involved in the distribution of false documentation among criminal organizations dedicated to committing robberies, arms and drug trafficking.

In its recent statement, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior revealed that the police have carried out 47 entries and controls, one in Tarragona and the others simultaneously in the Albanian territory.

As the Ministry explains, some of the organization’s members were known for their dangerousness, as they were involved in shootings due to drug “dumps” from other rival organizations.

In this regard, some of the accused have been arrested throughout the investigation of these crimes, even carrying 13 firearms and nearly 3000 cartridges in one trip or even more than 160 stolen jewellery, in addition to blocking mobile phones.

The organization also had close ties with other criminal groups, especially with some dedicated to marijuana plantations in Catalonia, an activity in which many Albanian citizens have been arrested in recent years.

From 2023 to June 2024, 274 Albanians Were Arrested at Spanish Airports

Although the investigation was carried out jointly between the two countries, it has a marked international character, requiring the support of other countries affected by the illegal activities of this criminal network, such as the UK, Portugal, Canada or Germany. From 2023 until June 10 2024, 77 Albanians have been detained for falsifying documents at all airports.

During the same period, Spanish police caught 247 Albanian citizens only referring to Barajas and El Prat airports.

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