This video captures human traffickers filming the ‘safe delivery’ of illegal immigrants in Spain to ensure payment from their relatives.
The smugglers are heard asking each arriving migrant, reportedly from north Africa, to look into the camera before jumping off a boat and swimming to the Playa de Los Lances beach in the Cadiz province.
A Spanish voice is heard giving the migrants instructions to ‘wait’ and ‘look at the camera’ as the young men jump into the water one at a time.
Some of them are heard saying ‘gracias’ – ‘thanks’ – before leaping into the sea.
This video captures people smugglers filming the ‘safe delivery’ of illegal immigrants in Spain to ensure payment from their relatives
The footage is believed to be used by the smugglers as proof that the migrants have reached Spain.
After showing it to relatives of the migrants, they are believed to receive the final instalment of a sum that is reportedly around €2,000 (£1,784) per person.
Six illegal immigrants were arrests in the incident seen in the footage. Three Civil Guard officers were injured in the process, a spokesman said.
Spain has become the main entry point for migrants arriving in Europe after Italy began closing its ports to rescue vessels.
Over 33,000 migrants have arrived in Spain by sea and land so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.
A further 313 have perished attempting to make the crossing.
The area around the Straits of Gibraltar has long been a route for smuggling drugs and contraband tobacco.
But recently, the Spanish Civil Guard have observed how the same criminal gangs have moved into people smuggling.
A Civil Guard spokesperson said: ‘There is a dangerous synergy of criminal activities, drug trafficking and mafias that are getting rich through the desperation of people illegally trying to reach Spanish territory.’
The migrants are seen jumping off a boat and swimming to the Playa de Los Lances beach
The smugglers are heard asking each arriving migrant, reportedly from north Africa, to look into the camera before jumping in the water
‘They have acquired a tone closer to that of the drug cartels with large bands equipped with the means and the infrastructure, and which are becoming more and more difficult to tackle.’
Drug gangs have increasingly used specially adapted high speed launches and inflatable craft known as ‘narco-lanzas’ to evade Civil Guards in the waters off Spain’s southern coast.
Many are alleged to have set off from Gibraltar taking advantage of British territorial waters to make speedy and increasingly audacious landings.
The issue has long been a source of tension between the authorities in Spain and in Gibraltar.
Migrants are seen on the Playa de Los Lances beach in the Cadiz province of southern Spain
Faced with the same gangs now moving into the trafficking of illegal immigrants, the Civil Guard have complained they are overwhelmed and have appealed for more resources, and a co-ordinated plan of action.
The President of the new centre-leftist government, Pedro Sanchez, announced measures to prohibit the private use of high powered launches in a bid to combat smuggling.
The Spanish Ministry of Interior has also declared the injection of €6million (£5.35million) to fund more Civil Guards in the area and to finance better technology in the fight against the smugglers.