Police detect new illegal immigration route into UK
Forty seven people have been arrested for their alleged membership of a
criminal organisation and human trafficking between Gibraltar, Spain and
several European countries.
The network charged each immigrant from Morocco between 7,000 and 8,000 euros, bringing in more than 1,000,000 euros.
The impact of the illicit activity has affected 18 Spanish provinces and five European countries, so 200 police officers have participated in the operation with the Gibraltar police, all of them coordinated by EUROPOL.
The investigation has ended with two raids, one in La línea de la Concepción in Spain and another in Gibraltar. Police seized 19,000 euros in cash, 12 smartphones, five cars and various documentation.
The investigation began in November 2018, when the Royal Gibraltar Police detected a significant increase in Moroccans from Tangiers arriving in Gibraltar with a stay visa for the United Kingdom. This visa does not allow entry into any country of the Schengen area, so they could not legally enter Spain.
The criminal organisation had two branches, one in Morocco and one in the region of Campo de Gibraltar. In Morocco they captured and planned the migrants’ trips, preparing false documentation to present to the British authorities to obtain the visa. Once the visa was obtained, the organisation bought a plane ticket, provided a hotel reservation in Gibraltar and indicated the steps to follow and who to contact.
From Gibraltar, they helped the trafficker to cross the border clandestinely in cars with tinted windows and always at night.