Joint Spanish-French operation sees police arrest nine suspects over alleged Palestinian asylum fraud scheme

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TRAFFICKING CLAIMS: Five of those arrested were Spanish (file photo), photo credit: Shutterstock

NATIONAL POLICE officers working with their counterparts in France have arrested nine people in connection with the alleged fraudulent obtaining of asylum status for more than 1,000 Palestinian refugees.

Spain’s Interior Ministry said the operation, coordinated by the Europe-wide Europol agency, saw five people detained in Madrid and four in France. Six of them have been remanded in custody.

Investigators claim the nine suspects were part of a gang which has trafficked some 1,200 refugees from Palestine into Spain since January this year.

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They were brought into Spain through Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez-Barajas airport, with each refugee charged around €8,000 which netted the group about €9 million according to police allegations.

Police raided three homes, one in Madrid and two in France, as part of the probe. More than €17,000 worth of cash in dollar and euro notes were seized along with seven vehicles, storage devices and documents.

The case continues.

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