UK Border Agency joins Spain to crack down on illegal immigration gangs
Members of a Spanish-based criminal organisation which arranged for people to be illegally transported to the UK have been arrested.
Nine people – five Iranians, one Mauritanian, one Colombian, one Moroccan and one Malian - have been charged with a range of offences, after UK Border Agency staff based in Madrid worked alongside the Spanish agency responsible for tackling organised crime.
Charges laid against the group include falsification of documents, people smuggling, and membership of a criminal organisation.
Simon Cooper, the UK Border Agency official with responsibility for Spain, said: "These arrests represent the successful outcome of a multi-agency operation led by the Spanish police and conducted in close collaboration with the UK Border Agency overseas and in the UK.
"Those who engage in the facilitation of illegal migration should know that they will be targeted and brought to justice."
The Border Agency also said the collaboration between the British and Spanish authorities was deemed a major success, "and a template for further joint working to tackle illegal migration."
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