A GUARDIA Civil officer has been detained for transporting immigrants from Ceuta to Spain’s Algeciras in the interior of his own vehicle.
The 56-year-old agent made the same trip on 23 occasions, over a period of three months and nine days.
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The man has been arrested, together with his 23-year-old Moroccan wife and two other collaborators, on charges of a crime against the rights of foreign citizens and criminal organisation.
Thanks to surveillance, telephone tapping and the viewing of security cameras in the port and on the ships, the Guardia Civil has reconstructed four trips in detail.
The detainee would make the journey at dawn, in his own car, accompanied by his wife with a stowaway hidden in the back of the vehicle.
The couple would charge between €5,000 and €6,000 each trip to migrants from the Maghreb region, who wanted to avoid the dangerous journey of crossing the Strait on a patera.
Once boarded on the ferry, the three individuals would exit the car and make their way to the passenger area.
There, one of two usual collaborators would meet them and hand over a suitcase to the illegal migrant.
On arrival in Algeciras, the Guardia Civil and his wife would go through the terminal without arousing suspicion and the immigrant would be transferred to another point in the city of Cadiz.
From there, the individual of Maghrebi origin would be escorted to another vehicle, driven by a third party, and taken to Malaga.
The Court of Instruction number 2 of Ceuta decreed on June 19 that the four individuals under investigation could be released on bail of €6,000.
Two of the accused, whose identities have not been disclosed, have been released after depositing the amount.
For the time being, the accused officer is still in prison and will face disciplinary proceedings that could culminate in his expulsion from the force.