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“Explosive Sweep in Malaga: British Criminals Amongst Scores Arrested for Bogus Residency Applications!”

December 31, 2023
"Explosive Sweep in Malaga: British Criminals Amongst Scores Arrested for Bogus Residency Applications!" - mass arrests in spains malaga over fraudulent residency applications for british citizens including criminals - Marbella News Crime -

Spanish Police Arrest 47 in Marbella Over Brexit Residency Scams

In a significant crackdown, the Policia Nacional in Spain have apprehended 47 individuals in the Marbella region. The arrests are linked to fraudulent activities involving British citizens who were applying for Spanish residency in 2021, ahead of the Brexit deadline.

Two Criminal Groups Involved in Residency Scams

According to the police, two distinct criminal groups were involved in the scam, submitting residency applications at the Malaga Immigration office. Among those arrested, three individuals operated a law firm in Malaga, while two others were associated with a legal practice in Ceuta.

Charges of Illegal Immigration and Document Falsification

The individuals arrested have been charged with facilitating illegal immigration and falsifying documents. The remaining arrestees are facing charges of forgery. The applicants were reportedly charged an average of €1,600 per person to obtain the TIE residency card through the two implicated law firms.

Cash Payments and Criminal Applicants

The payments for these services were always made in cash and were not transacted within the law firm offices. Interestingly, at least three of the British individuals seeking to regularise their presence in Spain were known criminals intending to ‘hide’ in the Malaga province.

Investigations Uncover Large Volume of Fraudulent Applications

The investigations into these fraudulent activities began in April 2021 when the Malaga Foreigners’ Office reported a high number of residency applications submitted by certain law firms. These applications appeared to contain manipulated and false information.

Deception in Over Half of Residency Applications

Upon analysis of over 200 residency applications from British citizens, the police discovered deceptive practices in 120 of them. The scam involved the creation of fake leases, health insurance policies, bank statements, and invoices, all designed to portray a British national as meeting the requirements for obtaining a residencia.

Brexit Deadline Sparks Flurry of Applications

The surge in applications was primarily due to the Brexit deadline stipulated in the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement. This agreement allowed British people residing in Spain without the necessary permissions to apply for residency before the end of 2021.

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