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Gang falsified passports, driving licences, permits and business documents 

PAGE 18 Gang falsified  passports, driving licences, permits and business documents

National Police have dismantled in Madrid the largest document falsification laboratory located to date.

Twelve people were arrested for being part of an organisation that mainly forged the Family Community Residency Card although they also made a variety of documents for which they charged up to 5,000 euros.

Nine raids were carried out and various effects seized, including two CNC laser engravers, two tampographic and thermographic printing presses and about 2,000 blank cards (PVC and PC), most of them with a built-in chip.

The investigation began in June 2018 when officers learned of the existence of a criminal organisation dedi-cated to the falsification of identity documents to facilitate the introduction in to Spain of Moroccan citizens. After verifying the facts and carrying out various pro-cedures, they verified that the network was led by Argentine and Spanish citizens who had a network of intermediaries of Moroccan origin. The intermediaries were responsible for providing their compatriots with documentation through relatives who were in Spain.

Once the document was prepared, the counterfeiters made them reach the intermediaries by postal courier making the payment through bank transfers or money remittance entities. Once the documents were in the possession of their recipients in Morocco, they accessed Spanish territory by air on direct flights or through the land borders of Ceuta and Melilla.

Payment varied according to the type of document. For the passports, 5,000 euros was paid, while for residence and driving permits around 800 and 1,500 euros. The variety of documents that they falsified was very high, including Italian, Argentine and Moroccan passports, French or Italian identity letters, US visas or residence cards of Spain (general and community regime).

The agents found that they were not solely dedicated to the sale of forged documents for illegal entry into Spain, but that they were also used for the establishment of companies, the opening of bank accounts, the request for credits or the obtaining of driving licences.