Spanish police say they have broken up a gang that smuggled people and drugs by boat from Morocco into Spain, charging migrants up to 2,000 euros ($2,300) a trip.
A police statement Wednesday said the group earned around 25,000 euros for each boat that made it across the Mediterranean, often carrying both people and hashish in the unsafe vessels.
Investigators estimate the gang had brought more than 500 migrants into southern Spain’s Andalucia region since last August. The gang took the arriving migrants by truck to safe houses.
The European Union’s border agency Frontex says about 57,000 migrant crossings were detected last year in Spain, double the figure for 2017.
Police say they arrested eight members of the gang, including four who are suspected of being the ringleaders in Spain.