64 people arrested for buying fake documents abroad via social networks
Combined operation of the Tax Agency and the National Police
- 136 documents were intercepted, including driving licences, passports and identity cards showing nationalities of different European countries.
- Those arrested contacted the counterfeiters through social networks and instant messaging, setting a price of between 1,000 and 3,000 euros per document and date of delivery to Spain.
18 May 2023.- Customs Surveillance officers of the Tax Agency, in a joint operation with agents of the National Police, have arrested 64 people and intercepted 136 false documents with a high level of professionalism.
The documents were driving licences, passports or identity cards, all with European nationality in order to be able to move around Schengen territory without difficulty.
There are 64 detainees throughout Spain.Potential customers contacted the counterfeiters through social networks and instant messaging, setting a price between 1,000 and 3,000 euros per document and date of delivery to Spain.They are charged with smuggling, forgery of documents and offences against the rights of foreign citizens for encouraging irregular immigration.
The investigation was initiated by the Tax Agency's Customs Surveillance Service as part of its checks on parcels from abroad, which had been selected using risk analysis techniques.
Officials detect shipments with forged documentation, so they contact the Athens Point of the National Police to verify the forgery of the intercepted documents.
Acquisition of documentation through social networks
National Police officers checked different types of documents.The forgeries included identity cards, passports and driving licences with different European nationalities in order to be able to move around Schengen territory without difficulty.In total 136 documents with a high level of professionalisation were detected.
Throughout the investigation, it was detected that the 'clients' contacted the foreign counterfeiters through various social networks and instant messaging where they fixed a price depending on the document they were requesting, since passports with border stamps were more expensive because they were considered to confer greater credibility to them at border crossings.The price therefore ranged from 1,000 to 3,000 euros.Through the same channels they also arranged the date for sending the passports to Spain.
Sixty-four people have been arrested:24 in Madrid;7 in Huelva;7 in Barcelona;5 in Granada;4 in Alicante;4 in Las Palmas;2 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife;2 in Cadiz;2 in Melilla;2 in León;1 in Almeria;1 in Pontevedra;1 in Cordoba;1 in Lugo;and 1 in Jaén.They are charged with smuggling, forgery of documents and offences against the rights of foreign citizens for encouraging irregular immigration.
Within the Central Unit Against Illegal Immigration Networks and Documentary Falsifications is the Athens Point which acts as a call centre for rapid consultations by National Police agents or any other police cooperation.