Migrant smuggling arrests in the Balearics

Two men have been arrested in connection with migrant smuggling.

18-11-2020Policia Nacional

Two Algerian men, aged 28 and 32, have been arrested by the National Police and charged with facilitating illegal immigration and belonging to a criminal organisation as well as with coercion and threats.

The police said on Wednesday that with these arrests, there has been a dismantling of one of the "most active" groups involved with the smuggling of migrants from Algeria to the Balearics.

Following the arrival of a migrant boat in Formentera at the end of October, the National Police launched an investigation. This established that certain people on the boat were part of a gang involved with migrant smuggling. During the course of the investigation, one of the main witnesses was beaten up by members of the organisation. Threats were made against this witness and his family.

Officers in Ibiza arrested one of the two men last Thursday, while the second was detained by the National Police in Palma on Monday.

The investigation has found that migrants were paying the organisation the equivalent of between 600 and 1,000 euros. It has also established that the organisation has people with navigation experience in charge of guiding migrant boats towards the Balearics. Further arrests are not being ruled out.

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