Spanish National Police dismantles a human trafficking network in Bilbao

Spanish National Police officers have dismantled in Bilbao a network that was dedicated to trafficking in human beings. 10 people have been arrested who were in charge of receiving immigrants in the Biscayan capital who had entered Spain irregularly to subsequently facilitate their transfer to San Sebastián or Irún, with France being their final destination. Immigrants – all of sub-Saharan origin – paid between 150 and 200 euros for this service.

Organization based in Bilbao

The investigation began with the complaint to the National Police of a person who reported the existence of an organization, based in Bilbao, dedicated to trafficking in persons of sub-Saharan origin.

During the investigation, the agents were able to verify the existence of a criminal organization that, presumably, was in charge of receiving immigrants who had entered Spain irregularly in the public transport stations of the Biscayan capital. The investigated were responsible for facilitating their passage to France in exchange for an economic amount ranging from 150-200 euros per person.

To France, via San Sebastián or Irún

The objective of the criminal group was that the immigrants, who mostly came from the first reception centers in which they had been admitted upon arrival in Spain, went to France as quickly as possible, staying as little time as possible in Bilbao. Thus, they were quickly redirected – by public transport or private cars – to San Sebastián or Irún, cities from which they made the leap to the south of France using public transport again. There, another criminal group, coordinated with the disjointed but independent network, drove immigrants to other French cities.

The traffickers forced immigrants to get rid of any document that could link them to Spain such as medical cards or purchased tickets, so that, in the event of being located by the French police, no relationship could be established with Spain and thus avoid the return.

The police operation has ended with the arrest in Bilbao of 10 members of the network -including the leader- as alleged perpetrators of crimes belonging to a criminal organization and against the rights of foreign citizens. The agents have entered and searched two homes in the Biscayan capital where computer equipment, mobile phones and various documentation have been intervened.