Spanish and French cops have busted a Georgian gang for providing fake documents to criminals for them to enter the UK and USA.
Gang members are accused of providing forged identity and travel documents to criminals and illegal immigrants to enter the UK, Ireland, and the USA.
The network, of Georgian origin, falsified the documentation, managed the distribution, mainly to Georgian nationals, and established the route that the trafficked persons had to take to their final destination.
The gang’s customers reportedly paid around EUR 8,000 per person.
The authorities raided several homes and arrested a total of 17 people accused of being members of the organisation, which is said to have branches in other European countries such as France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and the Ukraine.
Fourteen suspects were arrested in Spain; one in the province of Girona, one in Valencia Province, and 12 in the province of Barcelona. Three other suspects were arrested in France.
The criminal group supplied fake ID and travel documents through the ‘dark web’ and instant messaging apps, according to the police.
The Spanish branch, mainly based in the province of Barcelona, was in charge of receiving and distributing passports from Italy, Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, among others, as well as driving licenses from EU countries and Russia. In turn, they sent money to Georgia, Ukraine, France and Germany as payment for the preparation of the forged documents.
During three raids in Spain, the police seized EUR 2,155 in cash, seven mobile phones, five computers, three forged asylum seeker cards in Spain, a forged Latvian passport, numerous documents from the Ukraine with photographs, two manipulated passports in the name of a Ukrainian citizen, as well as qualifications that enabled him to work in Spain.
The investigation is being carried out with the collaboration of European police forces, coordinated by Europol, as well as the French OCRIEST cybercrime group and the attache of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia in Spain.