The Spanish National police have announced that they have dismantled two rings suspected of helping British nationals illegally obtain residency permits by providing them with forged documents at a cost of €1,600 per person.
Two gang which comprised 47 people were arrested in Marbella and the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta where they chiefly operated.
Police say the gangs provided Britons with fake versions of the documents needed to qualify for residency, such as rental contracts, bank statements and utlity bills.
‘Both networks, which had no links between them, used the same modus operandi to regularise British nationals, obtaining a profit of around €1,600 per person,’ according to a statement released by the police.
Under the UK´s Withdrawal Agreement, Britons who could prove they were living in Spain before December 31st 2020 though documents such as rental contracts or bank statement could obtain residency.
Police said officials had so far identified 120 requests for residency under this agreement that had been backed by false documents supplied by the two rings.
At least three of the requests were from ‘criminals who aimed to hide’ in the southern province of Málaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol, home to a huge British community.
Police said officials had so far identified 120 requests for residency that had been backed by false documents supplied by the two rings.
The suspects face charges of membership in a criminal organisation, aiding illegal immigration and document fraud.
There are an estimated 290,000 Britons with legal residency status according to National Statistics Agency (INE), making them the fourth largest foreign community in the country.