By Humphrey Carter

THE first wave of illegal North African immigrants to have been caught in the Balearics this week were transferred to an immigration centre in Barcelona yesterday while the National Police in Minorca began processing the ten illegal Morrocan immigrants arrested on the island after their cruiser cabin was found beached on the island's south coast on Friday afternoon.

The skipper of the fast rib used to bring the 12 illegal immigrants to Majorca on Thursday was yesterday facing charges of foreign citizen rights abuse in a Palma court while the others were taken to Barcelona to be deported.

They were aged between 22 and 33.

The 10 caught in Minorca face a similar fate after an island-wide search was mounted on Friday following the discovery of their abandoned cabin cruiser on Friday.

Three were intercepted on Friday night as they tried to board the fast ferry from Ciutadella to Cala Rajada and the Nura Nova ferry from Ciutadella to Alcudia.

The remaining seven were all arrested yesterday morning near the fery terminal in Ciutadella, they too were also plannning on setting sail for Alcudia.
According to police sources, the ten spoke French and Arabic and they are all susopected of being Algerian and their final destination was France.
Once processed, they will follow yesterday's 12 to the Barcelona holding centre before being deported.

It is understood that they beached the cabin cruiser on the rocks of the virgin beach of Son Saura between the holiday resorts on Son Xoriguer and Cala en Bosch on Thursday night.

They then changed their clothes, abandoning their old clothes on the rocks, and headed for the two tourist resorts.
A total of eight boat loads of illegal immigrants have arrived in the Balearics since last September.
Two in Minorca and six in Majorca.
On Friday evening, their were rumours that another boat had reached Majorca, Calvia to be percise, but a a police search resulted negative.


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