A gang who charged €4,000 for fake papers used to apply for Spanish residency has been broken up by the Policia Nacional.

48 people have been arrested, with 15 members belonging to the Zaragoza-based gang and 31 customers in the Murcia region.

Two additional clients were detained in Jaen and Palma de Mallorca.

The criminal crew produced fake documents like payroll stubs and housing reports that would be looked at favourably by authorities when issuing residencies to unify split families.

The average price charged per applicant was €4,000 and the gang is said to have made at least €200,000 out of the enterprise.

The enterprise was partially-funded by a bogus electrical maintenance firm in Zaragoza.

Employees accessed meter rooms and broke security seals to defraud electricity suppliers for up to 20 days.

Home searches uncovered wiring and electrical gear as well as bogus employee cards.

The 48 detainees are accused of belonging to a criminal organization; possessing false documents; and encouraging illegal immigration. 

Four of the arrested have also been charged with electric power fraud.

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