The national police in an operation in Tarragona in northeast Spain busted a criminal syndicate tied to document fraud and migrant smuggling, the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) said on Monday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 12th July, 2021) The national police in an operation in Tarragona in northeast Spain busted a criminal syndicate tied to document fraud and migrant smuggling, the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) said on Monday.
The suspects are believed to have been involved in smuggling over 400 illegal migrants, mainly of Albanian origin, through Spain and Portugal into the United Kingdom, providing the migrants with forged French identity cards.
As part of the operation, two house searches were carried out, 18 individuals were arrested, and counterfeit documents, financial documentation, records of the illegal activities, electronic equipment, cash, and various illegal drugs like cannabis, cocaine, and synthetic drugs were seized.
The investigation has been going on since 2019 after an increasing pattern of forged documents used by Albanian immigrants had been observed. The operation also identified a criminal network, located in the United Kingdom and Ireland, responsible for flights and the reception of migrants arriving in those countries.
In the meantime, over 46 suspects have been arrested, with an estimated 400 migrants identified at airports and 1,000 false documents seized.
The operation was carried out in collaboration with law enforcement from Albania, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia, Kosovo, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, and support from the European police agency.