Policia Nacional arrest thirteen men and one woman on Gran Canaria, all between the ages of 19 and 45 years old, suspected of crimes facilitating illegal immigration. Six of them are alleged to have engaged in reckless homicide and three are also charged with belonging to a criminal organisation. All of them were identified by the migrants who travelled aboard the boats, as the organisers of the trips and in charge of running the boats recently arrived on the coasts of Gran Canaria.


A total of 237 people travelled onboard, 26 of whom were minors, without any type of security measure, life jackets, food or drink. Three people died during the crossing due to the very poor conditions on the journey. One of them was a 9-year-old minor who was travelling with his mother and twin sister, and whose body was thrown overboard in the open sea. The boy’s mother, once she was rescued, tried to kill herself by jumping into the sea, and so she had to be transferred upon arrival to a hospital on the island suffering from shock.

The boats arrived between December 21 and January 20 on the coasts of Gran Canaria. After being treated by members of the Red Cross and verifying that most of them were in good health, the arrivals were transferred to an area designated for identification.

Three deceased due to conditions

In all cases, the migrants stated upon arrival that they had paid between €2,000 and €2,500 per head and that they had to bring their own food and drink to survive during the journey. In addition, they expressed a complete absence of security measures, life jackets, food or drink on the boats.

The agents then began an investigation that allowed them to fully identify, and the policia nacional arrest, of fourteen of those who had arrived in the boats, as the organisers of the trips and those in charge of governing the boats. The police investigations culminated in the arrest of all of them accused of allegedly being perpetrators of crimes facilitating illegal immigration and various the other charges.  After investigating, the corresponding police reports along with all the detainees were placed at the disposal of the competent judicial authorities, who ordered thirteen of them to be put into prison awaiting trial.