Spanish police dismantle a significant human trafficking network
Spanish police dismantle a significant human trafficking network

London: Police in Spain claim to have dismantled a trafficking organisation that was bringing people from Syria to Europe via Sudan.

According to the Policia Nacional, the gang has been active since 2017, is based in Spain, and is headed by a Syrian man. Additionally, it traded in smuggled goods like drugs and weapons.

A total of fifteen people have been detained—14 in Almeria and one in Malaga. Thirteen were kept in custody on remand.

Police also conducted a search of 13 homes in the two cities, seizing two speedboats, $569,455 in cash, a pistol, seven additional vehicles, mobile and satellite phones, computers, a tablet, documents, and drugs.

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According to the police, the gang smuggled 200 people through Khartoum at a cost of up to €20,000 per person, travelling over 8,000 kilometres round trip. Operatives in Belgium and Germany were used to coordinate the subsequent trips to Europe.


Over a year was spent on the operation to find the group, which involved police from France, Germany, Norway, and Europol.

In a statement, Europol said: "Starting in Syria, irregular migrants were taken via Sudan or the UAE towards Libya; this was an unusually long and expensive route used by the criminal network to smuggle irregular migrants from Syria into the EU. Prior to their crossing of the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, they were transported from Libya to Algeria.

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According to the Policia Nacional, fast boats were used to transport migrants from Algeria to Spain before they continued on to their final destinations.

The "VIP service" offered to those who paid more included being picked up "in high-end vehicles and with tight security measures."

The Policia Nacional added: "Vehicles with strong engines were used to pick up the migrants. Teams were placed on the beaches where the migrants disembarked to keep an eye out for police presence.

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The gang additionally concealed their boats in industrial buildings and on farms that had video surveillance.


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