Policía Nacional has, with assistance of Europol, dismantled a network smuggling people from Morocco to Spain. 20 suspects have been detained and 6 houses searches has been taken place. More than 150 police officers were deployed in Spain to arrests the suspects, considered dangerous because of their history of violent crimes and suspected possession of weapons.
3 boats (one rubber boat in Ceuta, one fibreglass boat in La Linea and a yacht in Algeciras), jerry cans and big tanks of fuel totalling some 7,000 litres, 5 weapons and mobile devices have been seized.
The criminal network was composed of Spanish and Moroccan nationals. The suspects smuggled Moroccan nationals through the Strait of Gibraltar on different vessels, some of them stolen. The boats were fuelled at sea to avoid suspicions from the authorities.
The migrants, mainly young individuals and often minors were paying about 2,500 EUR per person for the smuggling services. The suspects transported the migrants in life-threatening conditions without any safety measures in case of emergency at sea. Evidence suggests links between the network and a deadly shipwreck, which took four lives in February.