MADRID: EVER on the lookout for people trafficking, the Guardia Civil in Melilla has arrested four people and is searching for another two.
Seeing an increase in the number of illegal migrants arriving in the enclave, officers kept surveillance on the border crossing with Morocco and established the ‘modus operandi’ of one gang of smugglers.
They established that the gang was fitting false bottoms to relatively new and good quality cars in which the migrants were hidden. All involved had Spanish nationality or the right to reside in Melilla and the cars had Spanish number plates.
As they crossed the border, each car would contain a family including children in the hope of deflecting interest from police and immigration officers and once safely through, the drivers took the cars to a safe garage where the migrants who had paid in the region of €4,000 were released.
It is believed that the six people involved were responsible for the smuggling of at least 74 individuals of sub-Saharan origin into Melilla.