A drug and migrant smuggling network between Alicante and Algeria broken up

The National Police and Customs Surveillance arrested seven people and seized three narco-boats in the operation
Image of police operation - PHOTO/NATIONAL POLICE/TAX AGENCY

The National Police and Customs Surveillance of the Tax Agency dismantled a criminal organisation that operated from Alicante to allegedly transport drugs and migrants illegally between the Alicante coast and Algeria. 

The criminal gang used narco-boats or small boats that left Alicante with cocaine and synthetic drug pills and, after unloading the drugs in Algeria, allegedly returned with immigrants. 

In the police operation, seven people were arrested and three semi-rigid drug boats with high-powered outboard motors were seized.

The criminal organisation was based in Alicante and allegedly made large profits from the double illegal activity.

The police investigation began when the National Police brigade specialised in investigating networks and organisations dedicated to smuggling people illegally from Africa became aware of the existence of a criminal organisation made up of citizens of Algerian origin allegedly dedicated to trafficking narcotic substances, illegal immigration and smuggling with the purchase, storage and use of speedboats for the transfer of migrants, for which they charged between 6,000 and 10,000 euros per person, as reported by various media such as La Información and the Europa Press agency. 

The National Police and Customs Surveillance carried out surveillance and investigations which led to the location of a farm in Alicante which housed these boats dedicated to criminal acts. 

The investigators observed a lot of movement of vehicles transporting these boats, including large drums of petrol in order to travel, in principle, between Africa and Spain. 

The structure of the organisation was made up of Algerian and Moroccan nationals, logistically supported by Spaniards operating in Alicante, according to the investigations. 

The organisation allegedly operated in Algeria to recruit illegal immigrants and take them to the Spanish coast in exchange for large sums of money. 

It should be noted that the boats did not leave from the African continent, but rather from Alicante to Algeria to allegedly transport narcotic substances and bring people on the return journey, the organisation being based in Alicante, where they had their base of operations.

The financing of this criminal gang allegedly came through a French company, managed by several individuals who, in turn, were allegedly in charge of collecting the boats in Spain and finding people for the logistics and manufacture of the narcotic substances, launching the boats and transferring immigrants to Spain.

The detainees were handed over to the judicial authorities, while the operation continues and further arrests are not ruled out.