The Civil Guard has dismantled a criminal organization, settled mainly in the provinces of Murcia and Girona that was dedicated to promoting irregular immigration between Algeria and Spain to later transfer the immigrants to France. The Armed Institute agents have detained 19 members of the organization of Moroccan and Algerian nationality. Under the leadership of a Moroccan citizen, the members were organized into different echelons that performed a specific function within the organization: logistics, employers, transportation, and economics. In the operation, the agents have seized cash, electronic devices for later study and several vehicles used by the organization to commit the crimes. Also, nine of the detainees have entered provisional prison.
They captured people using ‘taxi boats’ of more than 150 horses
The organization’s ‘modus operandi’ consisted of recruiting people in vulnerable circumstances and susceptible to migrating in Algeria to transfer them to the coast of the Mediterranean coast using ‘pateras taxis’, high-speed boats equipped with engines of more than 150 horsepower. Afterwards, those investigated collected the Algerian immigrants on their arrival at the coast and housed them in buildings managed by the organization itself in the provinces of Murcia and Almería, for those who wanted, after additional payment, to transfer them to France. As a general rule, the members of the organization always tried to return to Algeria once they had made the journey to Spain, although sometimes they could not due to the risk of being intercepted back by a patrol boat of the Civil Guard Maritime Service.
They stayed in Spain until they could return to Algeria.
In this way, the organization itself gave them shelter in Spain until they could return to Algeria on the occasion of a new arrival of boats. On the one hand, the logistical step was in charge of picking up immigrants upon arrival and subsequently accommodating them in buildings in the provinces of Murcia and Almería. The level of skippers was made up of five people of Algerian nationality, who were in charge of skipping the boats between Algeria and Spain. On the other hand, the economic level was in charge of managing all the payments that the criminal organization received, both from the transfer from Algeria to Spain and from the transfer to France for those who hired it. In this way, they concealed both the origin and destination of payments, making economic research extremely difficult.
They drove 24 hours straight to increase profits
Finally, the transport section was in charge, once the immigrants had paid the payment for their transfer to France, to move them from Murcia or Almería to Girona, where there were seven members of the organization who were in charge of crossing them into France. Due to the strong security measures taken by this criminal organization and in order to increase the economic benefits, each driver could cover up to 4,000 kilometers in a single day, when making several trips between Almería and Girona. Therefore, they came to drive continuously for 24 hours.
The investigations, framed in Operation Copper, have been carried out jointly by the Information Groups of the Commanderies of Almería, Murcia, Girona, Alicante and the Special Central Unit number 3 of the Information Office. The investigations continue and the Civil Guard has not ruled out further arrests.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.