A network of falsification of Sahrawi identities dismantled in Spain

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior has announced the dismantling of an organization specializing in the production of false files to regularize Moroccan citizens in Spain who present themselves as descendants of Spanish Sahrawis.

The Spanish police, helped by the Moroccan police, were able to dismantle this organization established in Spain with operators in Morocco, which falsified documents aimed at facilitating the obtaining of residence documents in Spain for Moroccans.

In a press release, the Department of the Interior explains all the details of this operation which amounted to thousands of euros for the sole purpose of obtaining a residence permit in Spain.

The operation started in the town of Assa in Assag Zag in the region of Guelmim-Oued Noun and was carried out with the help of a civil status officer.

Clients had to pay 3,000 euros to the group and according to the investigation, nearly 50 Moroccans had contacted the organization to obtain false documents of their supposed affiliation with the Spanish Sahrawis of the colonial era.

According to the department of Fernando Grande-Marlaska, this criminal cell specializing in document fraud would have earned no less than 150,000 euros.

Two people were arrested in Navarre for belonging to a criminal organization, promoting irregular immigration and falsification of documents and four people for falsification of documents in Navarre, Almería and Tarragona. While the Moroccan police arrested the civil status officer concerned.

“The operation began with the observation of an unusually high number of applications for residence and work due to exceptional circumstances, including family ties, due to the fact that the clients of the criminal organization presented documents of affiliation in various immigration offices in the national territory, claiming to be Sahrawi descendants of Spanish nationality”, explains the Spanish ministry.

Spanish police had sniffed out the case after observing a similarity in the files even though the perpetrators carefully filed them in different cities and regions of the country. They then contacted their Moroccan counterparts who investigated on their side to find the source.

“All family ties residence applications had some similarities, even though they were filed in different provinces, so that when they were processed, it was detected that the parentage documents had been issued in the Moroccan city of ‘Assa,” the Interior Department statement said.

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