The Civil Guard has arrested 24 people in Melilla from a criminal organization dedicated to human trafficking that captured minors in situations of extreme vulnerability to use them for illicit purposes related to drug trafficking.

In addition, it has rescued nine minors sheltered in one of the Melilla protection centers, which they used to collect drug packages thrown from Morocco to the autonomous city over the fence, which have been made available to the Prosecutor’s Office juvenile.

In a press release, the armed institute has reported that the 24 detainees in the Goliat operation are of Spanish nationality and residents of Melilla, and have extensive criminal records.

All of them are accused of alleged crimes of human trafficking, criminal organization and continued crimes of drug trafficking.

The organization, which has been considered dismantled, monopolized the distribution and retail sale of hashish from “turning” in the city, that is, thrown over the fence from Morocco to Melilla, a “modus operandi” that began with the closure of the land border in March 2020.

The Civil Guard began the operation in October 2021 after detecting the existence of an organized group in Melilla that captured minors in a situation of extreme vulnerability, under guardianship and residents of the “La Purísima” Minor Center, whom they used for the collection of drug packages thrown from Morocco over the fence.

The organization used the vulnerable minors they captured to collect the packages at the foot of the fence, thus exposing themselves to the risk of being arrested, while the other members of the organization stayed in a second line, away from the border perimeter and without running any risk, waiting to pick up the drug at an agreed place.

Once in their possession, the organization transferred the packages in vehicles to a secure “nursery”, located in the Cañada de Hidum neighborhood, where they stored the drug for later distribution and retail sale by trusted people at different points. from the city.

The criminal organization had people who assumed specific roles, and it was made up of its leaders; others who guarded the area controlling the movements of the Civil Guard patrols; those in charge of collecting drug packages at the foot of the fence; those who carried out the transport of the drug to the “nursery”, and those who finally dedicated themselves to the distribution and sale.

The leaders were the ones who personally contacted others from the Moroccan area by telephone and agreed on the day, time and place where the drug was to be launched, a crime that was perfected “in a very short space of time”, while at the same time They supervised all phases of the operation, leaving no detail to chance.

During the investigation phase, the Civil Guard has analysed, controlled and intercepted a total of 172 releases of drug packages and a total of 275 kilograms of drugs have been seized during the investigation phase, the vast majority of which hashish, presented in the form of “acorns”, of which 34 were held by the detainees.

The Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Melilla Command has carried out this investigation under the direction of the Investigating Court number 4 of Melilla, which has kept the proceedings secret until the exploitation phase, and the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office, which has ensured the legal status and protection of minors used by the plot.

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