Spanish police have arrested 155 people, reportedly mostly Chinese nationals, who had been trying to illegally smuggle Chinese migrants into the UK and Ireland.
A three-year investigation into the trafficking was launched after an airport official in Barcelona noticed a rise in false identity papers used to traffic Chinese migrants.
The police were able to make the arrests after five migrants supplied evidence in exchange for entering the witness protection programme – leading Spanish police to break up the trafficking ring and arrest the ring leaders.
155 detenidos que traficaban con ciudadanos chinos a quienes cobraban una "tarifa plana" de 20.000€ por pasaportes falsos y el cruce de fronteras. Los cuatro cabecillas de la red han sido detenidos en #Barcelona https://t.co/dvMcfpdtXs pic.twitter.com/fGA8FZDcZl
— Policía Nacional (@policia) March 13, 2018
Each migrant reportedly paid €20,000 for fake papers and passports, according to The Irish Independent.