The National Police have arrested five people in Cartaya (Huelva), allegedly belonging to a criminal organization dedicated to trafficking in persons from Morocco to the Andalusian coast. Immigrants were threatened before the trip to give their mobiles to members of the organization and avoid recordings during the journey. They paid 2,000 euros in advance to reserve a place on patera or zodiac boats and over 500 euros for accommodation in Spain, which estimates an economic benefit of 108,000 euros for the criminal network.
The operation, which has prevented 70 immigrants from risking their lives imminently towards the Andalusian coasts, has ended with an entry and registration at a home in Cartaya, where 750 euros in cash, two telephone terminals and various documentation.
The investigation began with the rescue of two boats from Morocco that arrived in Algeciras with 54 Moroccan subjects, including seven minors. After taking statements, the agents detected the existence of a criminal organization that was allegedly favoring illegal immigration.
Serious threats to avoid recordings
After various steps, the agents verified that the organization was perfectly structured in two branches. One of them was based in the Rabat Region, in the cities of Kenitra and Salé (Morocco), where they captured, housed, and transported migrants to the point of departure. The second branch was located in Cartaya (Huelva), whose leader, a relative of the person in charge in Morocco, was in charge of receiving and lodging the migrants in their own homes until their final destination in the peninsula.
Before each journey, the members of the organization did not hesitate to threaten traffickers with their arms cut off if they were seen filming with a mobile phone during the journey, so they searched and removed their terminals. Due to the demand, migrants had to pay 2,000 euros in advance to secure a place on the patera or zodiac boat. Once in Spain, they could hire accommodation for around 500 euros, which estimates an economic benefit of around 108,000 euros from the criminal network.
Neutralized a boat about to set sail
Thanks to the operation, the agents were able to neutralize a boat about to set sail from Morocco towards the Andalusian coast, preventing 70 migrants from endangering their lives.
The investigation has ended with the entry and search of a home in Cartaya, where five people have been arrested for belonging to a criminal organization and crimes against the rights of foreign citizens. The agents have intervened 750 euros in cash, two telephone terminals and various documentation related to criminal activity.