In 2012, Spanish police investigated what they alleged were possible links between Maleno and human trafficking gangs. A Spanish court later dropped the case. Moroccan justice carried out a parallel investigation until it was closed on Monday.
Maleno, who lives in Morocco, has made it her cause to inform Spanish and Moroccan rescuers when migrants set out in flimsy boats to make the perilous crossing from African to European shores. Maleno said from Tangier the "fact that this case was dropped sets an example for us to continue our work."