This month, with the help of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), the Spanish and French national police dismantled a large poly-criminal network involved in migrant smuggling, and human and drug trafficking. The joint police action led to the arrest of 26 suspects in Spain and three in France, as well as to the confiscation of €30,000 and more than 200 kilograms of hashish.
This organized network of criminals especially targeted unaccompanied minors in Spanish protection centres, encouraging them to leave the centres for France or other western European countries. According to Europol, the criminal recruiters come from different national backgrounds, and usually target migrants from their own countries, such as Algeria, Mali, Morocco and Syria. Irregular migrants were transported by busses, which were also used to smuggle hashish, tobacco and hunted species.