Europol, Malta at the centre of an investigation on human trafficking
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese Government is at the center of a joint Europol investigation, called Operation Everest, as third country nationals with expired or false visas are allowed to move within Schengen countries. Recently, the Spanish police arrested third country nationals from Nepal in its fight against criminal gangs operating in human trafficking.
The investigations, so far, revealed that Nepalese workers are using Malta and Poland to access the Schengen area, stay for the minimum period required and then fly to their final destination, Spain. In November 2022, the Spanish Police intercepted a group that was trafficking Indian and Nepali workers with the ultimate goal of entering the United States, via Mexico. Eventually, 9 people were arrested for assisting 300 workers from Nepal to enter Europe through a false visa issued by India. A fee of 15,000 was paid to reach Europe and another 5,000 so that each one enter Spain and pass the necessary tests to obtain Spanish citizenship. This racket was run by a family with contacts in India, Nepal, Malta, Lithuania and Poland, and the group managed to obtain a false D-type visa from European consultancy agencies in India, which used to issue permits to people to live, study or work in the Schengen area for 90 days. The Spanish Police revealed how this clandestine operation unfolded with the involvement of European and Nepali companies; who offered false work and study opportunities with the premise that the visa is issued for this purpose. Third country nationals used to enter Malta first. Then, in Spain, the human traffickers would facilitate the exam questions and falsify the test results, with the help of certain Spanish language schools, to give their Nepali clients the opportunity to obtain Spanish citizenship.
– Photo credit: Malta Tourism Office –