A COMPLEX operation involving trafficking people from Algeria to France has been busted by Spain’s Guardia Civil.

Vulnerable people were taken from Algeria and promised a better life, by a group who simply wanted to profit from their misery.

Algeria 3
RAIDED: Guardia Civil move in

Victims were held in the Spanish provinces of Alicante, Murcia, Almería and Girona, before being smuggled into France.

The gang lured people desperate to leave North Africa, often in vulnerable circumstances, and transferred them to the Spanish coast using ‘pateras taxis’ (high-speed boats equipped with larger engines) and housing them in one of a number of properties managed by the gang.

In all, 19 of the gang were arrested, with nine being imprisoned, immediately.

Algeria 1
RAIDED: Guardia swoop

They are charged with the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization and acting against the rights of foreign citizens.

The gang was led by a citizen of Moroccan nationality, who controlled the network of fellow Moroccons and Algerians.

The group all had specific tasks: logistics, employers, transportation and finance.

Algeria 2
ARRESTED: Some of the 19 people arrested

Sources say that once the victims had paid for their onward transfer to France, they were moved from Murcia or Almería to Girona, where other gang members would take them into France.

It is believed that some drivers would cover up to 4,000km in a single day, when making several trips between Almería and Girona, getting to drive for 24 hours, non-stop.

A complex money-laundering operation hid both the origin and destination of the payments, making it enormously difficult for authorities to research.

Investigations continue and new arrests are not ruled out.

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