The Spanish National Police have arrested four people who have been equipping migrants with forged documents to regularize their stay in the country.
According to a recent statement issued by the Ministry of the Interior of Spain, three of them are currently serving their sentence behind bars.
As the Ministry explains, this criminal organisation housed immigrants on the island of Gran Canaria without even basic sanitary and hygienic facilities. Their illegal operation brought in profits exceeding €250,000 in total.
This criminal network operated through two distinct branches: one located in Morocco and the other in Spain. The Moroccan branch was responsible for receiving immigrants arriving by boat from Morocco in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Their duties included overseeing the welfare of the migrants and coordinating their transfer to the Spanish mainland.
On the Spanish side, members were tasked with handling the necessary paperwork to obtain boarding passes for the migrants, facilitating their departure from the island. They also managed the financial transactions related to these transfers and maintained control over the buildings where the immigrants were housed.
Within the Spanish-based criminal branch, each migrant was subject to fees ranging from €250 to €400. However, in cases where air travel was required, those involved pocketed about €4,000 for each immigrant they helped.
Last week, the Spanish police successfully dismantled another criminal organisation that offered forged documents to migrants in irregular situations within the country.
In this regard, the Ministry revealed that the main objective of this group was to facilitate the employment of immigrants in the agricultural sector by providing forged documents. The authority also pointed out that their illegal services were available with charges of up to €400 per forged document or identity theft, with a particular emphasis on individuals who bore a physical resemblance to the impersonated identity.
In addition, in June of this year, a coordinated operation was carried out by the Spanish Civil Guard and the National Police, which managed to dismantle a criminal network originating from Gran Canaria.
The organisation in question was involved in producing and distributing forged documents, mainly to assist migrants in irregular situations in their journey from the Canary Islands to mainland Spain or other member states of the European Union. This incident highlights that Spain has faced similar challenges in the past regarding the illegal production of documents and assisting migrants.