Chinese citizens were paying around €50,000 to an illegal immigration network based in Barcelona, which introduced the immigrants in Europe and the US by providing them with false passports.
Spanish and French police forces worked together to dismantle the criminal network that was asking for large sums of money – between €40,000 and €50,000 – from Chinese citizens wanting to gain entry into European countries such as France, Greece, Italy and the UK or the US.
In total, 75 members were detained – 51 in Spain and 24 in France, reported the El País newspaper. Eighty-one false passports from Asian countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, were also seized by the authorities during the operation.
The network is also being investigated for human trafficking and sexual exploitation crimes.
Police began investigating the group in 2011 but due to the complexity of the crimes were only able to proceed with the arrests now.