FIVE members of a people trafficking and drug smuggling gang looking to expand in the Murcia region have been arrested by the Policia Nacional.

Four Algerian nationals and a Moroccan man were detained for human trafficking and smuggling.

Four of the group were immediately jailed following a San Javier court appearance.

The group was establishing itself in the La Manga area.

They planned to create a network of insecure boats to ferry people and narcotics into the area from North Africa.

The gang charged around €5,000 per person per trip.

Police seized a six-metre-long boat with a 150 horsepower engine.

Inquiries uncovered plans for the criminals to charter another five boats to expand their illegal operation.

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