SPAIN’S National Police force has arrested seven people suspected of large-scale migrant smuggling.
The organised crime gang would smuggle the migrants from French-speaking African countries to Northern Spain, and from there on to France.
It is estimated that the organised crime group has facilitated the entry into France of almost 300 migrants.
The crime group, made up of individuals of Sub-Saharan origin, arranged for migrants to be smuggled from French-speaking African countries (Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal) to Spain by boat, usually providing them with fake documents.
Upon their arrival at the Spanish coast, the migrants were contacted by members of the criminal organisation who would arrange for their transfer to safe houses in Northern Spain, and from there on to France.
With the support of Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) , the Spanish National Police has dismantled the group arresting six people in Guipuzcoa in northern Spain and one person in Madrid.
Eight migrants awaiting to be smuggled to France were also rescued from a safe house in Guipuzcoa.
Europol also supported the investigation with analytical capabilities and the deployment of an expert to San Sebastian in Spain.