Almería (EFE).- The Civil Guard has arrested 19 alleged members of a criminal network dedicated to promoting irregular immigration through fast routes in taxi boats from North Africa to the coast of Almería.
As reported in a note by the armed institute, the network charged up to 5,000 euros for irregularly transferring migrants in fast boats to points on the Almería coast, and also took advantage of the trips to send objects stolen in Spain to Algeria, mainly mobile phones , and trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine, and amphetamine.
The Civil Guard has highlighted that the crossings posed a “serious risk to the lives of the migrants”, and has stressed that last October one of the boats organized by the plot sank, an incident that resulted in two deaths, whose corpses They appeared days later in Cabo de Gata.
Records and intervened boats
Likewise, it has specified that in the operation, called Flixita, seven searches have been carried out in homes in the province of Almería, after which 17 boats have been intervened, more than 48,000 euros or 90,000 ecstasy pills, among other effects.
Allegedly, this criminal group charged each migrant up to 5,000 euros for irregular transfers in boats in which between 10 and 15 people could travel each way.
“On many occasions they synchronized several simultaneous departures of fast boats in order to overwhelm the work of the Civil Guard and make it difficult to intercept them,” the armed institute specified.
The agents detected this criminal network through the Internet where they discovered a series of publications and offers related to organized boat trips in which migrants in vulnerable situations were offered quick entry into Spain through unauthorized border points on the Almeria coast.
The criminal organization was structured into three groups: some people in charge of logistical tasks, management of boats and transfers of migrants and employers; others with the role of skipper to carry out sea voyages, and the last people established on a higher plane as organizers of said transfers.
Base port in Almeria
Those now detained had established their base port in Almería, where they kept the boats and from where the trips were launched to pick up the migrants on the Algerian coast and bring them to Spain.
In the operation, 19 people have been arrested in different locations in Almería and Tarragona and a total of seven house searches and two inspections have been carried out on farms in the Níjar countryside (Almería).
In these searches, 17 boats, two vehicles, more than 48,000 euros in cash, 90,000 ecstasy pills, more than 600 grams of high-purity cocaine and mobile devices owned by those investigated and third-party victims of robberies have been intervened.
The objects seized along with the detainees have been brought before the courts, with 16 of them imprisoned. All of them are accused of crimes against the rights of foreign citizens, against public health, against property and belonging to a criminal group, in addition to two reckless homicides against one of them. EFE
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