Expatica news

Human trafficking gang charged

16 January 2004

ALMERIA – Three Peruvians and a Spaniard were charged with running a human trafficking scam, police said Friday.

The gang were said to entice would-be immigrants to Spain and charge them large sums of money with the pledge of job contracts which never materialised.

The Peruvian suspects, all of whom are legal residents, used the Spaniard’s business as a front for the job contract offers that they “sold” to their impoverished countrymen for thousands of euros – often cash obtained from local loansharks.

Once they were admitted to Spain as legal immigrants, the victims soon found out that the jobs for which they handed over their meager savings or put their families into lifelong debt, would not be forthcoming.

They were then left to fend for themselves as best they could.

The suspects are to be charged with forgery of official documents, fraud, and depriving workers covered under Spanish labor laws of their statutory rights .

Meanwhile, nineteen suspected illegal immigrants are thought to have died when they drowned off the coast off the Canary Islands Friday.

The tragedy happened off the coast of Fuerteventura, said souces at the Guardia Civil.

Police were still trying to determine the number of people who have died.

Illegal immigrants try to land in the Canary Islands and Spanish mainland on a daily basis.

Many are stopped by police at sea or die in the process as they journey to what they think is a new future in tiny, precarious boats.

[copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news