The maritime routes back to the country were also used for the introduction and transport of drugs
Agents of the National Police dismantled a network dedicated to the
illegal human trafficking from Algeria towards the coast of Almería. The detainees had an exhaustive knowledge of the geography of the Almeria coast, using a network of caves in this area to house the migrants. The maritime routes back to Algeria were also used for the introduction and transport of drugs, as well as for the furtive exit from Schengen territory of Algerians who wanted to flee from European justice. Investigators link this organization with the death of 11 people that occurred last February when the boat in which they were trying to reach Spain was shipwrecked.
In the operation, 21 people were arrested in Almería (8), Alicante (6) and Murcia (7) for the crimes of favoring illegal immigration, reckless homicide, belonging to a criminal organization and crime against public health. Likewise, seven entry and registration procedures were carried out in the provinces of Almería, Alicante and Murcia and two inspections in establishments in Almería. In addition, more than
50,000 euros in cash and international currency, specifically dirhams and dinars, worth about 3,000 euros, banknote counting machines, approximately three kilograms of hashish, a multitude of doses and samples of marijuana, cocaine and ketamine, various precision scales and packaging machines, a simulated firearm, computers, various mobile and electronic mass storage devices, as well as various documentation related to the investigation. It is estimated that they have obtained benefits of more than 2,500,000 euros.
11 deceased in the shipwreck of a patera
The international criminal organization specialized in the illegal trafficking of immigrants of Algerian and Moroccan nationality from Algeria to Spain by sea, using fast zodiac-type boats.
The main point of entry into Spain was the Almeria coast, a coastal area that they knew perfectly, where they also had, as dens for immigrants, a network of caves and grottos with difficult access that allowed them to hide the trafficked both to enter and leave the national territory.
For land travel of immigrants to different parts of the national territory or to other Schengen countries,
the criminal network had a large fleet of ‘pirate taxi drivers’. The organization charged inordinate amounts of money to migrants, both for being introduced into the national territory, for transfers, and for temporarily housing them in homes located in the province of Almería once they reached the coast, taking advantage of their situation of vulnerability.
At the same time, such buildings were used as security floors to temporarily house the pilots of the boats in the event that they were intercepted at sea or suffered some type of disagreement in the sea crossing, such as incidents in the engine or Expense of fuel, facilitating the necessary maintenance and maintenance, providing them with the maximum coverage and protection in our country until their clandestine return to Algeria, while a new entry of immigrants was made and later using this boat for the pilots to return to this country.
The members of the criminal network, firmly structured in different criminal groups with specific functions, managed to successfully execute at least
21 migratory episodes bound for the peninsula, having counted more than 40 boats with an average of 15 immigrants per boat. It is estimated that they would have smuggled more than 500 people into national territory, thereby obtaining an average of between 4,000 to 7,500 euros for each one, an amount that varied depending on the service provided.
A cell in Morocco to attract customers
The network had a cell based in Morocco, in charge of attracting potential clients, as well as carrying out clandestine land crossings of Moroccan immigrants to Algeria. The
price of this transfer was between 800 and 1000 euros per trafficked. The nucleus of the organization was located in Algeria, with functions of attracting Algerian clients, accommodating migrants on different floors and organizing outings by boat to Spain.
The acts of illegal maritime traffic were perpetrated without having any type of security measure to safeguard the integrity of the people who sailed aboard these vessels, such as life jackets or luminescent signs, not even food or drink, which is abusive. contempt for the lives of those who smuggled. This criminal network is implicated in the death of 11 people, all of them aboard the same boat that sank in February of this year and intended to arrive in Almería.
In addition, the network was dedicated to drug trafficking, introducing in Spain
mainly hashish. Other substances, mainly ecstasy, were also transferred on the return trips to Algeria. All of this translates into a greater professionalization and specialization of the organization which, in order to enhance the huge profits obtained, diversified its business with other criminal specializations through the use of migratory crossings.
The operation, which dismantled the criminal organization, has aborted the dispatch of three crews that they had prepared to leave for Almería. Thanks to the investigation, it was possible to know that in this Andalusian province
two groups that coordinated the sea crossings, the departure of boats, the collection in Spanish territory and their subsequent transfer by vehicle to other safe locations in the national territory. In addition, the boats were used to return to Algeria for the furtive exit of fugitives from European justice, who tried to flee due to their search and capture situation, escaping through non-authorized positions.
Another group settled in Alicante whose mission was to support and offer financing to members of the criminal network through the ‘Hawala’ system, a traditional alternative and informal money transfer system that bases its method on trust. Likewise, in Murcia there was another group that carried out the
Moroccan land transfers to Algeria, in addition to recruiting in Spain relatives of potential migrants who would be in Morocco.