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19 people arrested from a network that favoured irregular immigration through routes in taxi boats from North Africa

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the Flixita operation, has arrested 19 people from a criminal network dedicated to promoting irregular immigration through fast routes in taxi boats from North Africa to the Almeria coast.This criminal group charged up to 5,000 euros to each migrant for irregular transfers in boats in which between 10 and 15 people could travel each way. Those investigated took advantage of the transfers to send stolen objects in our country, mainly mobile phones, and traffic drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine or amphetamine, from Spain to Algeria where this type of narcotic is scarce, achieving a greater economic return.

On many occasions they synchronized several simultaneous departures of fast boats in order to overwhelm the work of the Civil Guard and make it difficult to intercept them.

The agents detected this criminal network through the Internet where they discovered a series of publications and offers related to organized boat trips in which migrants in vulnerable situations were offered quick entry into Spain through unauthorized border points on the Almeria coast.

The criminal organization was structured into three groups: some people in charge of logistical tasks, management of boats and transfers of migrants and skippers, others with the role of skipper to carry out maritime crossings and the last people established on a higher plane as organizers. of said transfers.

Those now detained had established their base port in Almería, where they kept the boats and from where they launched the trips to pick up the migrants on the Algerian coast and bring them to our country. Once the migrants were unloaded at various points on the Almería coast, the boats were stored until new voyages were organized or they were even able to undertake a new round-trip journey on the same day to make their economic benefits even more profitable.

Shipments of stolen objects and drugs from Spain to Algeria

This operation includes a new modus operandi detected by the Civil Guard agents: taking advantage of the boats’ journey to send stolen objects in our country together with cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamine from Spain to Algeria.

The stolen objects sent from Spain were mainly mobile phones, previously stolen in our country, in order to be sold in Algerian territory at a much lower price than the Spanish market.

Serious risk to the lives of migrants

The trips put the lives of migrants at serious risk due to the use of boats, many of them in poor condition and unsuitable for maritime journeys on the high seas.

Among the journeys, those investigated had several shipwrecks, including one that occurred in the month of October in which two migrants died whose bodies appeared after a few days off Cabo de Gata.

19 detainees in seven records

In the exploitation of this operation, 19 people have been arrested in different towns of Almería and Tarragona. A total of seven house searches and two inspections have been carried out on farms in the Níjar countryside.

In these searches, 17 boats, two vehicles, more than 48,000 euros in cash, 90,000 ecstasy pills, more than 600 grams of high-purity cocaine and mobile devices owned by those investigated and third-party victims of robberies have been intervened.

All the objects seized along with the detainees have been brought before the courts, with 16 of them imprisoned. All of them are accused of crimes against the rights of foreign citizens, against public health, against property and belonging to a criminal group, in addition to two reckless homicides against one of them.

The investigations carried out have been carried out through the direction of the head of the Investigating Court number 4 of Almería and the Delegate Prosecutor for Immigration of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Provincial Court of Almería, by the Information Group of the Civil Guard of Almería in coordination with the Special Central Unit No. 3 of the Information Headquarters and the Information Group of Tarragona. It has also had the support of the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard.