The arrest of 175 people has ended a network that enabled the entry and stay in Spain of immigrants, mostly from India and Nepal, for their transit later to other countries, especially Mexico, and with the US as final destination . The National Police, with the support of Europol and US authorities, has dismantled the plot, which, at its headquarters in Madrid, was made up of 16 people. The organization charged up to 30,000 euros to each migrant, to whom it provided false documentation to circumvent airport controls, according to a statement from the National Police, which calculates that only so far this year the illegal traffic of 450 people had been facilitated and 500 false documents had been issued. The dismantling has frustrated the “imminent” transfer of 33 migrants who lived crowded in several “patera flats” in Madrid.
As detailed in the Police note, the investigation, which has been carried out over 10 months, began after detecting at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport a “substantial increase” of citizens from the region of India and Nepal who had for destination Mexico and that they carried falsified documentation. The fact fit with a warning from the US, which had warned of the increase in people from that part of Asia who intended to enter US territory from Mexico and after having passed through Spain.
The investigations concluded that the dismantled network was part of a large international criminal network that had specialized in the illegal trafficking of migrants. They were taken by plane from India and Nepal to Europe, especially to Serbia, and from the Balkan country they were made to cross by land to Romania. From there, after passing through Hungary, Austria, Italy and France, they entered Spain.
The plot used vehicles to take the migrants to Madrid once they had crossed the border and housed them in the Spanish capital in “overcrowded and unsanitary conditions” before their departure to Mexico. In some cases, members of the organization withdrew their documentation and provided them with synthetic drugs and psychotropics.
In collaboration with other criminal cells based in Turkey and Greece, the dismantled network was in charge of preparing and providing migrants with false documents, mainly residence permits and visas from European countries and Schengen countries, to leave from the Adolfo Suárez Madrid Airport. Barajas to Mexico. They also used identity documents, passports and legal resident permits with which, by means of the well-known “look alike” method, the migrants pretended to be the real owners by virtue of their existing physical resemblance.
In the ten months of the investigation, the agents arrested 159 people at the Madrid airport for the crime of false documents and have seized 168 false documents. In addition, during the final operation carried out in Madrid, five homes have been entered and searched and two establishments inspected, in which 16 more people have been arrested, charged with crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, favoring Illegal immigration and false documents.
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In the records, the agents have seized 6,310 euros, 450 dollars, a vehicle, 28 presumably false documents, 11 caps to forge airport entry and exit stamps, various electronic devices and numerous documents relevant to the investigation.
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