The Spanish Civil Guard has just dismantled a criminal network specializing in the falsification of documents intended for migrants in an irregular situation to travel from the Canary Islands to Spain or to other countries of the European Union.
As part of the so-called “Exit 23” operation, seven people were arrested, five of them in Murcia, one in Valencia and one in Huelva, on suspicion of belonging to a criminal organization against the rights of foreigners, of falsifying documents officials, encouraging minors to leave their homes and detaining migrants.
According to the statement from the Spanish Civil Guard, the detainees took advantage of the vulnerability of migrants who had recently arrived in the Canary Islands by boat, including Moroccan citizens, offering them false papers allowing them to continue their crossing to other regions of Spain. Spain or other European countries, mainly Italy, in exchange for a large sum of money.
Investigators searched three addresses, from which numerous documents, passports belonging to third parties, money and mobile phones, among other effects, were seized. The head of the organization, who was in charge of distributing the tasks and taking on the most important ones, was arrested when he was about to facilitate, through the use of illegal documents, the departure of two minors from Valencia to Italy, announces the same source.
As for the details, the Spanish Civil Guard reports that the organization recruited migrants of North African origin, mainly minors, who arrived on the islands by boat, to then detain them in a place before the trip, while they prepare the false papers and all the necessary infrastructure for their departure. Once obtained, they were taken to the various Canarian airports, providing them with the necessary indications so as not to be detected. Most of the time, passers-by from the network accompanied them during the air journey, thus ensuring the return of documents.
” The connections of this organization with criminal networks based in Morocco and other states of the European Union have been constant, offering among their services sea freight from Morocco to the Canary Islands for migrants who were on the African continent.“, says the press release. They also offered any procedure related to the regularization of the legal situation of foreigners who were irregularly in Spain, through fraudulent methods, explains the Spanish Civil Guard.
She estimates that this organization organized more than 100 departures from the islands, with a high number of those who used their services with a false passport or in the name of third parties having been arrested during the investigation. The profits obtained exceed 100,000 euros.