Photo: Confiscated forged documents
Spanish police disbanded an international migrant-smuggling ring that provided Albanian citizen with forged documents and got them onto European soil at a price of 10,000 euros ($12,400) each.
A total of 19 people were detained in several Spanish cities accused of human trafficking and promoting illegal immigration, forging documents and belonging to a criminal organization, police officials said Tuesday.
The criminal organization hid the Albanians in Spain and other European Union countries until it could provide them with passports forged in Peru or Argentina, with which they could finally travel to other countries outside the EU’s open-borders Schengen zone, chiefly to the United States, Canada and Australia.
The gang made up of Albanian, Bulgarian, Rumanian and Lituanian citizens was based mainly in the southern Spanish province of Almeria.
It got the Albanians out of their home country individually or else in the company of minors to look like a family group that would be unlikely to attract attention.
The migrants entered Greece with forged Greek documents and from there were taken by road to Italy or Spain.
Afterwards, with more fake documents, they were transported outside the EU, for which the migrant-smuggling ring was helped by a travel agency.