THE Civil Guard and National Police have taken part in a joint operation to bust a criminal organisation in Tenerife, which was passing migrants with false documentation to the peninsula.

Sixteen Senegalese nationals were arrested – 13 in Tenerife, 2 in Ibiza and 1 in Gerona – who are charged with the alleged crimes of belonging to a criminal organisation, as well as offences against property, public health and documentary falsification.

10 addresses were searched, in which more than 20 falsified passports were found.

46 files with false immigration documentation, more than 900 gms of cocaine, 1,000 ecstasy pills, 90 gms of heroin, three sets of precision scales, €23,600, £2,940 (counterfeit), 77 telephones, 39 high-end watches and jewellery, and a number of other items.

The organisation shielded migrants who had arrived on the islands – hiding them in different boat floors while they prepared falsified documentation.

Once obtained, they were taken to the different ports and airports of the islands, and given the last instructions on how to proceed when boarding.

Also, instructions regarding security measures – in case they were detected by the Security Forces.

The migrants, who managed to reach the peninsula without being detected, were located by the members of the organisation to retrieve the documentation used, in case it could be used by another immigrant in the future.

In addition to the falsified documentation, in some cases, use of legal documentation from other people with a physical resemblance were found.

It is estimated the organisation would have managed to move from the islands at least 113 people who were arrested with false passports, or in the name of third parties.

The benefits obtained exceed €200,000.

The operation is ongoing, with the aim of locating the rest of the members of the organisation. Additional arrests are not ruled out.

Caption: Benefits obtained exceed €200,000 in criminal organisation.