A joint operation between the Spanish National Police (Polícia National) and the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil), supported by Europol, has led to the arrests of two men and a woman in Cádiz and Granada. The suspects allegedly forced at least 37 migrants to jump from a boat, 5 of whom drowned.

The suspects carried out migrant smuggling activities, which resulted in deaths. The presumed members of the smuggling network allegedly facilitated the travel of migrants, in boats, between Kenitra (Morocco) and Cádiz (Spain).

The joint investigation between the Spanish National Police and the Civil Guard resulted in the discovery of the precise location of the boat and the identification of the itinerary of this smuggling activity.

On the action day, the officers carried out searches at the suspects’ addresses in the city of Granada and the towns of Algeciras and San Roque (Cádiz) and arrested them. 

The investigation led to the identification of three suspects, allegedly responsible for the death by drowning of five migrants who were thrown into the sea in November 2023.

The three suspects allegedly forced the migrants – through violence and intimidation – to jump off of a high-speed boat into the water.

They threatened them with machetes, forcing their passengers to jump into the sea, knowing that there were strong currents active and that many of the migrants were not able to swim.

A boat crew, which was in the area at the time, managed to save five migrants out of the 37 on board, all of whom were forced to jump into the water.

Later on, national authorities recovered the bodies of five migrants, who were also travelling on this boat.

The migrants had paid between €3,000 and €12,000 for this risky journey between Kenitra and Cádiz.