The Civil Guard dismantles a criminal organization dedicated to the promotion of irregular immigration to the United Kingdom

The organization, of Albanian origin, clandestinely displaced migrants to the United Kingdom, through ferries and ships that depart from the ports spread along the Cantabrian coast and the Mediterranean coast

9 people have been arrested and 11 records have been made

The operation has been carried out in Bilbao, Sestao, Santurce, Getxo and Bermeo with regard to Bizkaia; Eibar (Gipuzkoa), Laredo (Cantabria), Almazora (Castellón)

The Civil Guard has dismantled a criminal organization of Albanian origin, dedicated to favoring irregular immigration to the United Kingdom by clandestinely displacing migrants, through ferries and ships that depart from the ports distributed by the Cantabrian coast and the Mediterranean coast .

In the operation, 9 people (8 of Albanian nationality and one of Brazilian nationality) have been arrested, and 11 records have been made where telephone and computer devices, bank cards, money remittance cards and several have been intervened identity documents and passports of different nationalities and identities.
The operation began in early 2018, when the agents detected a considerable increase of citizens of Albanian origin who intended to embark clandestinely to the United Kingdom, using for this purpose a platform of ferries and ships that departed mainly from the Port of Santurce and others from the coast Cantabrian.
Given the existing background on this problem, and since Spain was a country of transit prior to its final destination, in a first phase of the investigations it was concluded that, due to the increasing and high number of people located, there should be a criminal structure organized that would be behind.
Continuing with the investigations, the agents were able to verify that this organization would be composed of two cells, one operating in Bilbao-Barakaldo-Sestao and another that would be acting in other provinces to provide migrants, either from Albania or through contacts with resident intermediaries in camps established near the port of Santurce, the infrastructure necessary to survive in Spanish territory until finally being conducted for clandestine shipment.
These shipments were made well as stowaways in trailers, containers, caravans, interiors of ships and boot of vehicles parked in the restricted parking of the shipping companies, or starting from trucks parked in rest areas near the Ports, waiting of embarking on the ferries that left for the United Kingdom.
The ports used by the organization have been Santander, Vigo, Ferrol, Ribadeo, Gijón, Avilés, Pasajes and finally Valencia and Castellón.
It is important to highlight the functioning of these organizations since the risk to the life or physical integrity of the migrant acquires special relevance in the different stages of concealment to favor the irregular immigration that they carry out.
The detainees are charged with an alleged continued crime against the rights of foreign citizens, crimes against heritage and socioeconomic order, documentary falsity and against public health; derived from the use of allegedly stolen credit cards, theft of diesel, theft inside homes and the management and administration of marijuana plantations for subsequent trade.
During the course of the investigation, the British NCA (National Agency Agency), the French National Police and EUROPOL have collaborated in the exchange of information.
The investigation has been developed by the Information Group of the Bizkaia Command, together with the Information Office of the Civil Guard and the Information Groups of the Commanders of Gipuzkoa, Cantabria and Castellón and has been directed by the Court of Instruction nº 3 of Barakaldo and by the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Bizkaia


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