The Spanish authorities announced the dismantling of a network dedicated to smuggling Syrian refugees via a route that crosses three continents by air, sea and land, in exchange for 20 thousand euros each.
The Spanish police said in a statement, Sunday, August 13, that it dismantled “in Spain the logistical structure of a criminal organization specialized in smuggling Syrian migrants,” in cooperation with Europol and the German Federal Police, according to the Euronews website.
The police arrested 19 people on suspicion of “belonging to a criminal organization and involvement in illegal immigration,” and six of them were placed in pretrial detention.
The Spanish police explained that “the migration route passed through three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe, by air, sea and land,” and each migrant paid the smugglers “20,000 euros.”
The network cooperated with criminal organizations in other countries, and received money through “transfers” that enabled it to earn about 2.5 million euros.
According to the first stages of the investigation, the migrants were starting from Lebanon, where they passed through Beirut airport to Egypt in exchange for 4,000 euros. From there, the Syrians pass overland to Libya, Tunisia and Algeria for 3,500 euros.
Then from the Algerian cities of Oran and Mostaganem in boats to the Spanish coast for 10,000 euros.
Once they arrive in Spain, migrants cross by car to Madrid, Cuenca and Toledo (central), where they remain hidden in squalid conditions for 250 euros a week until they get documents.
Once they have the documents, they can either stay in Spain or go to Germany or Norway (for 1,000 and 2,000 euros).
It is noteworthy that millions of Syrians have left their country for European countries, especially Germany, since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011.