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Gang smuggled Albanians into UK via Eurotunnel 

Police have smashed a people trafficking gang which smuggled Albanians into the UK through the Eurotunnel or Channel ferries.

Fourteen people have so far been arrested for alleged crimes against the rights of foreign citizens, as well as for drug trafficking.

They include the head of the organisation who had tried eight times to get into Britain before deciding to settle in Spain.

“He used his home in the town of Piélagos (Cantabria) to lodge the Albanian citizens on a temporary basis, as well as another property in Santander,” said a police spokesman.

After a short stay, they were stowed away in locked lorries under the cover of darkness to travel to the UK via the ports of Santander and Santurce.

On other occasions, motorhomes were used with the illegal immigrants stashed inside. The drivers were usually Spaniards who drove from Cantabria to France to reach the English Channel. They then boarded either the Calais-Dover ferry or used the Eurotunnel.

“Albanian citizens who managed to get to England paid the organisation amounts that could reach up to 6,000 euros,” said the police spokesman.

Police said the organisation also smuggled cocaine. In one raid in Cantabria, officers found about 300 grams of cocaine with more than 1,000 doses, as well as about 60 grams of methamphetamine.

Of the 14 people arrested, nine are men and five women, aged between 19 and 51. Four are Albanians, seven are Spanish, two are from Morocco and another is from Colombia.

A woman and two minors of Albanian nationals have also been placed at the disposal of the National Police pending expulsion because they are in an illegal situation in Spain.