13 people arrested in Tenerife over Iran-UK smuggling network
National Police, Guardia Civil and the UK Border Agency have broken up a human smuggling network for citizens of Iranian origin, whose destination was the United Kingdom, and have so far arrested 22 people, 13 of them based in Tenerife.
Immigrants moved to Europe either through the border between Turkey and Greece in truck cargo containers or by plane with forged passports and tickets purchased illegally.
22 people have been arrested so far, among them the head of the organisation, who dealt with entire families in exchange for €20,000 per smuggled person with minors receiving a ‘discount’ and children under 2 were smuggled for ‘free’.
The Canary Islands served as a stop-off point, where immigrants were taught how to conduct themselves at the border on arrival in Britain and how to get legal residency.
The operation began last February when an the arrest of a citizen of Iranian origin took place in Tenerife, who tried to board a flight to the UK, carrying passports and a fake French identity card. It was determined that it was not an isolated event, but there was an organisation dedicated to the forgery and the illegal trade in Iranian citizens.
The result of the preliminary investigations determined that the criminal organisation had numerous members not only in Spain, but also in Iran, Greece, Germany and Sweden.
The police officers identified the chief and ringleader of the plot, who directed and coordinated all actions from Tenerife.