THE Policia Nacional have busted a scam using newborn babies of pregnant immigrants as a way to get Spanish residency.
Moroccan women paid up to €3,000 to have their children registered to Spanish nationals who were not the father of their baby.
79 people have been arrested so far in connection with the fraud involving 78 babies.
Over 150 police officers took part in a nationwide operation with 51 detentions in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa, and a further 28 arrests on the mainland.
Police say a further 38 people were involved in the deception, with search and arrest warrants also issued against them.
The plot involved Moroccan women taking advantage of a visa exemption rule and the ‘Good Neighbour Agreement’ between Morocco and Spain to enter Melilla in a heavily pregnant state.
The women all give birth at the Comarcal de Melilla Hospital and had previously been given details of Spanish men by paid intermediaries charging between €1,500 and €3,000.
The bogus daddy, with a Spanish address, would then be recorded as the baby’s father in the local Civil Registry.
The newborns therefore automatically gained a nationality certificate which allowed the mothers to apply for Spanish residency.
Procedures have now begun in Melilla to revoke the illegally-obtained nationality authorisations from the babies.
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