Wednesday 15 August 2018

Spanish police bust Chinese trafficking ring smuggling people into Ireland

Spanish police today arrested 155 mostly Chinese nationals who were attempting to smuggle migrants into Ireland and the UK. Photo: Policia Nacional
Spanish police today arrested 155 mostly Chinese nationals who were attempting to smuggle migrants into Ireland and the UK. Photo: Policia Nacional
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Spanish police arrested 155 people, mostly Chinese nationals, who were attempting to traffic Chinese migrants into Ireland and the UK.

Authorities in Spain said the three-year investigation was launched after an official at Barcelona airport noticed a significant rise in fake identity papers used by Chinese nationals heading for Ireland and the UK.

The trafficking ring was discovered after five migrants entered a witness protection programme in exchange for supplying evidence against the illegal operation.

In a statement on Twitter, Spanish police said that the arrests included four alleged ringleaders who were detained in Barcelona.

They said that each victim paid €20,000 for the trip and was supplied with fake passports and other documents.

It's understood that the migrants stayed in different parts of Catalonia while they waited for their fake papers to be issued.

Once the papers arrived, the organisation bought airline tickets for the migrants on the same day.

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