A TOTAL of 14 people have been arrested in Alicante province on suspicion of faking documents in order to secure residency in Spain as well as benefits. Among those detained are two civil servants. 

An investigation was launched after the police became aware of an ‘unusual’ number of people signing up to the municipal roll, or padron, at the same handful of addresses, the National Police revealed via a statement. 

Officers discovered that these suspects had done so by presenting a series of faked documents at the local councils in the municipalities of Pinoso and La Algueña. 

The paperwork allowed them to claim they were residing at these addresses when in fact they were not. 

After they had got on to the municipal rolls, they then applied for health cards so that they could access public medical treatment. 

The faked documents were also used to secure residency permits with the aim of facilitating the arrival of family members from abroad onto Spanish shores. 

A public employee in Pinoso was allegedly dealing with the fake applications while another in La Algueña was producing fraudulent reports so that the suspects could obtain residency permits. 

Both of these civil servants were arrested in the operation, according to news agency Europa Press. 

The other 12 people involved have been accused of using these fake documents, but the ringleaders have so far not been detained after they fled to Morocco back in July. 

The investigation remains open and there are around two dozen people who are still being investigated due to their alleged participation in the case.

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