Spanish police have arrested 22 people and broken up a ring that allegedly smuggled people from Iran to Britain, often via Spain's Canary Islands.

Police also said Tuesday that the traffickers also used an overland route, with people hidden in the luggage holds of buses or in freight containers on trucks.

The ringleader was Iranian as were most members of the group. Others were from Colombia, Morocco, Mauritania and Bulgaria.

The ring charged Iranians €20,000 ($26,000) per person for the voyage, with a "discount" for minors and no charge for children under two, the statement said.

Spanish authorities worked with their British counterparts in this operation. Arrests began in February.

Police said it was not known how many people the ring sneaked into Britain.