Spanish Justice Refuses To Release Two Algerians
At the end of last week, the Criminal Chamber of the Spanish National Court issued a decision refusing to release two Algerian youths, aged 35 and 37, who were part of a group of seven people, including five Moroccans, after being found guilty by the investigating judge of the Court of Aragon in north-eastern Spain.
According to an indictment, they were accused of participating in a transnational criminal organization specializing in human trafficking.
According to Echorouk’s sources, the appeal lodged by the Algerians from the west of the country was rejected and their imprisonment was upheld, considering the events that took place before the Spanish judiciary to be established legal facts, provided that Spanish law does not tolerate irregular immigration cases, especially those related to the deportation of people.
On the 12th of March, the investigating judge of the Court of Aragon placed seven people in temporary custody, after lengthy hearings with those involved in an incident linked to a network of Moroccans and Algerians specialized in smuggling irregular migrants to the Spanish coasts and then transferring them across the border to French soil.
And according to the same source, the Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office, at the level of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court, considered that the elements of the charge presented (trafficking in human beings, the crime of organising the clandestine departure of foreigners from Spanish territory within the framework of an agreement to prepare or commit it) were proven. This is because the new amendments to the law against illegal immigration in Spain increase the penalties for people smugglers.
It is expected that the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the level of the Spanish National Court will take the case to court in order to impose the penalties due against the network for the smuggling of human beings from Algeria and Morocco to Iberian soil, within the framework of an organized criminal network specialized in the transport of “harragas” or illegal migrants to French soil across the land border through the villages of the Pyrenees in exchange for money worth more than 5,500 euros.
According to the source, the individuals were arrested at the beginning of March last year by the Spanish Guardia Civil in the municipality of Tarsona, in the province of Zaragoza, in the north-eastern Spanish region of Aragon, following precise information about the existence of an international gang that smuggles illegal immigrants from North African countries to Spain by speedboat and then transports them to French territory.
Security investigations have revealed that the Moroccan-Algerian smuggling network charges 5,500 euros per person to transport migrants to France via Spain, in dangerous conditions and without recourse to minimum security measures. Investigators from the Spanish National Police received information that an organization arranging clandestine migratory journeys was trying to establish itself on the coasts of Andalusia, particularly in the region of La Blanca. The Spanish Guardia Civil seized a six-meter boat used to facilitate illegal immigration, with propulsion mechanisms and a 150-horsepower engine.
This incident coincides with the tightening of the security cordon imposed by the Algerian security services on the Algerian coasts in order to prevent clandestine sailings, by redeploying the patrols of the coastguard and all the floating units in various sea areas that were a favourite destination for “harragas” or illegal immigrants, especially on the coasts. West of the country, close to the other side of the Mediterranean. Tight security made it possible to foil three clandestine sailing trips on the eve of Eid al-Fitr feast in Oran and Mostaganem and to arrest 33 people from different provinces, according to the Regional Centre for Guard and Rescue Operations of the Second Military Region in Oran.