Spain Dismantles Criminal Group That Helped Migrants Stay in Country Illegally

The Spanish authorities have announced that the National Police has dismantled a criminal group that established companies used to regularise migrants and defraud social security.

The Ministry of Interior of Spain revealed through its most recent press release that was issued yesterday, April 26, that during the operation day, which took place in the city of Elche, a total of 125 persons were arrested.

In addition, during this operation, the police searched 12 houses and seized money, vehicles, and equipment, among others, reports.

“Twelve home searches have been carried out in which 124,000 euros in cash, four high-end vehicles, five computer equipment, a cryptocurrency mining farm and 112,000 euros in virtual currencies have been seized that the fictitious business network used to launder the profits obtained,” the Ministry explains.

The police have disclosed that these so-called ‘fake’ companies provided migrants with documentation, job offers, and contracts in order for them to be able to obtain or renew their existing residence permits. This means that migrants were able to obtain fake residence permits and continue to reside in Spain illegally.

The investigation regarding this particular case started back in October 2020. Since then, the police have been able to identify the leaders as well as other people involved.

“The investigation began in October 2020 when it became known that an alleged businessman could be committing different crimes such as fraud, false documents and money laundering with the alleged collaboration of a law firm. The investigators verified that the companies to which he was linked as a proxy or administrator had no way of being located, either physically or virtually,” the Ministry explains.

According to the police, this operation has been carried out if four different phases. The third and the fourth phase are considered as most significant as, during these two, the police arrested the majority of persons.

During the third phase, the police arrested the owners of the companies that acquired fraudulent invoices from the dismantled organisation. Whereas, in the fourth phase, the police arrested several others involved in crimes of bribery and disclosure of official secrets. Among those that are currently under investigation is also a public official. The person is believed to have disclosed information from the official databases in exchange for money.

Apart from the above-mentioned, the police intervened in the records of some 80 bank accounts with a balance of over €200,000. A large number of vehicles have also been seized.

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