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Spain dismantles network of migrant smugglers from Algeria

Spain dismantles network of migrant smugglers from Algeria
Spanish police officers stand guard as sub-Saharan migrants stand atop the   -  
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Ben Curtis/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


Spanish police announced on Tuesday the dismantling of an organization that smuggled more than 200 Syrian or Algerian migrants into Spain from Algeria.

“A transnational criminal network, which brought Syrian and Algerian migrants into the EU, has been dismantled. Led from Libya and Spain, it had cells in Sudan, Liberia, and Algeria,” police said in a statement. a statement.

Fifteen people were arrested in southern Spain as part of this operation carried out in collaboration with Europol and the German and Norwegian authorities. Thirteen were remanded in custody.

The investigation determined that this organization, which also engaged in drug and arms trafficking, had brought "more than 200 migrants" to Spain from Algeria "in very fast boats piloted by armed individuals ".

She asked "between 7,000 and 20,000 euros per person" for crossing the Mediterranean, said the police. This organization took care of Syrians wishing to reach Europe in their country and provided them with papers and visas to take them to Libya, via Sudan or Lebanon, then to Algeria.

Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal immigration in Europe.

The number of illegal migrants arriving on the coasts of mainland Spain and the Balearic archipelago increased by 29.22% in the first half compared to the same period last year, according to the Spanish Ministry of Interior.

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