Spanish police reported the four detained allegedly led a gang in the overseas territory of Ceuta, the criminals used to charge migrants up to 2,000 euros to take them to the mainland.
Four arrested have been charging migrants up to 2,000 euros to take them to Spain in speedboats normally used for drug trafficking, police said Saturday. “There is almost no chance of reaching Europe illegally” without paying traffickers, Robert Crepinko, the head of the human smuggling unit at Europol, the European Union’s policing arm. According to him, 9 of 10 migrants who enter Europe are helped by human traffickers.
Reaching Europe via Spain is the most popular route for migrants from North Africa who prefer to head further north, to the Scandinavian countries. A Civil Guard police union warned last month that narcos in the country’s south had entered the lucrative trade of migrant trafficking, as more and more people try to reach Europe.
OThe migrant themselves are confessing that it is just impossible to travel thousands of kilometres from Africa through deserts and other inhospitable areas without the aid of gangs.
Spain: police and migrant traffickers
In its Saturday report, the Spanish police said the gang charged between 1,800 and 2,000 euros per person for the trip, earning a profit of around 26,000 euros per vessel. Thus, the profits of the organisation that its members found it better to devote themselves to this criminal field rather than that related to drugs, the statement reads.
Since January 1st, about 40,600 migrants have reached Spanish shores by sea, during that process 398 migrants died, says the recent International Organization for Migration report. In comparison with the same period last year, that’s more than triple the amount of people who arrived in Spain or its overseas territory.