In a recent operation, agents from the Guardia Civil successfully dismantled a criminal organisation, based on the south of Gran Canaria, involved in facilitating irregular immigration, encouraging the abandonment of shelters provided to minors, and engaging in small-scale drug trafficking.

 


During the investigation, the Guardia Civil agents were able to verify that the criminal group had a close-knit relationship among its members, with clearly defined roles distributed among them. They would gather and coordinate to commit criminal acts, leading to different levels of responsibility in terms of criminal liability. One of the primary activities of the organisation was to contact unaccompanied foreign minors who wished to travel to continental Europe, providing them with illicit travel documentation, purchasing airplane tickets, and offering accommodation, among other services, all for profit.

The investigation revealed that the criminal organisation periodically supplied falsified or stolen documents to various unaccompanied minors they had previously recruited from some of the island’s juvenile centres set up for their care. After these minors escaped from the centres, the organisation would gather them together and provide them with accommodations until they were able to depart from the Canary Islands. Additionally, the criminals had a contact person in the province of Barcelona, who connected the minors with the organisation.

The gang closely monitored these minors from the time they arrived, usually from African territories, to when they were placed under the administration’s care, in juvenile centres. They then took advantage of this situation to recruit other minors from different centres, inducing them to abandon those facilities. Once the terms for their departure were agreed upon, the organisation handled all logistics, such as providing falsified documents or those taken from others, purchasing airplane tickets, arranging accommodations, and managing their travel.

To avail of these criminal services, the minors or their families had to pay amounts ranging from 600€ to 1000€, depending on the requested destination. Throughout the investigation period, which began in January 2023, the organisation conducted over 30 trips involving minors.

Moreover, it was discovered that the gang was also engaged in small-scale drug dealing.

The operation concluded with two raids on properties located in the southern municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, including an apartment block and a commercial centre, right next door to the Policia Nacional headquarters, where various pieces of evidence were seized. This evidence included documents previously used by minors for travel, receipts for monetary transactions, and 500 grams of hashish packaged in doses for distribution.

Following the operation, the arrested individuals were brought before the Court of Instruction No. 1 in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, where four of them were remanded in custody.

The successful operation was carried out by the Grupo de Información de la Comandancia de Las Palmas, Jefatura de Información (UCE3), and Seccion de Información de la Zona de Canarias, highlighting the significant efforts put forth by the Guardia Civil in combating criminal activities in the region.