A Spanish Civil Guard vessel has intercepted people smugglers after a high speed boat escape attempt off the coast of Almeria.
The speedboat was owned by an alleged trafficking gang which consisted of eight Algerian and three Spanish suspects.
They are reportedly accused of bringing 126 people from Algeria into Spain on nine boats.
The people they trafficked across the perilous route included pregnant women, minors and a disabled person, according to police.
The suspects were arrested as part of ‘Operation Sidecar’.
A Civil Guard spokesman told Newsflash that the 126 migrants included women and children and that the gang had one operation in the Algerian port city of Oran and another in the town of Carboneras in the south-eastern Spanish province of Almeria.
The Algerian cell reportedly accepted money from the migrants for passage to Spain where they were met by the Spanish gang members.
According to the Spanish authorities, the gang used overcrowded boats without proper safety measures to transport the desperate migrants to Europe.
The migrants were brought to the beaches of Nijar, Carboneras and Mojacar before being taken to other parts of Spain as well as elsewhere in Europe, according to the Civil Guard.
The Spanish police seized all nine boats, five of them on the coast and the other four at sea.
The Civil Guard spokesman told Newsflash that the investigation is ongoing and there could be more arrests.