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Gang smuggled “at least 500” Moroccans into Spain 

Agents of the National Police have broken up an organisation in Almería dedicated to the trafficking of people and narcotic substances.

They have arrested eight suspects, among them the ringleaders of the network which was dedicated to introducing immigrants into the country via the Spanish coasts.

In addition to the traffic of immigrants, the arrested smuggled narcotic substances, taking advantage of the departure of the boats from Morocco with immigrants of this nationality. According to the researchers, the dismantled organisation would have contributed to the arrival of more than 500 immigrants heading to the Andalusian coasts of Cádiz and Almería.

The agents began the investigations in summer of last year when they verified the existence of pateras arriving on the coasts of Cádiz and Almería. They discovered the network was responsible for both the collection of those trafficked and the fare for the trip, being temporarily housed in homes until the exit of the boat, as well as obtaining the pateras and skippers.

“The members of the organisation picked up the newly arrived immigrants to the Spanish coasts by means of rented vans. They were crammed in the back part of these vehicles and taken to the addresses they had in the province of Almeria,” said a police spokesman.

The cost of each trip, described as “precarious and unsafe”, varied between 1,800 and 2,000 euros per person, obtaining an approximate economic benefit of around 25,000 euros per chartered vessel. It is estimated that since August 2018, the network has been able to introduce 500 immigrants into the national territory.

Raids were carried out in Almeria, specifically in homes controlled by the network. Police seized several mobile terminals, mass storage devices, 101 “acorns” of hashish of about 1,000 grams, two pieces of hashish of 84.86 grams, a katana and 1,150 euros in cash along with various documentation.