Based in Alcalá de Henares, Parla, and Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), the gang was said to have matched up around 15 different couples where one party was a Spanish national and another was an illegal immigrant.
During house raids in Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, San Sebastián, Madrid and Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), they found fake ID cards, driving licences, civil registry certificates and the equipment for making these.
In some cases, the accused parties are said to have acted as official witnesses at the mariage blanc unions.
Investigations started a month ago in the province of Cádiz, when it was found that a woman from Equatorial Guinea, who had Spanish nationality, had applied for her family to join her in Spain – on 15 different occasions.
Police inquiries found that the documentation for the visa applications was forged, and that the woman had carried out a number of transactions of this nature as part of the operations of the gang she was involved with.
Spanish nationals were paid vast sums of money to ‘marry’ illegal immigrants, mostly from central African countries, officers say.