By Humphrey Carter

A full investigation has been opened after a motor launch carrying 19 illegal immigrants from Algeria managed to yesterday reach Majorca undetected by the state-of-the-art radar recently installed on the south coast as part of the war on illegal immigration.

The 19 Algerians were arrested yesterday morning after a routine Guardia Civil patrol spotted the seven-metre motor boat moored up in the bay of S'Almunia.

The alarm was raised and the 19 Algerians were quickly arrested in the immediate vicinity.
12 were caught near Cala Llombards and the other seven as they tried to catch a bus in Lluchmajor.
All 19 were last night in the custody of the National Police waiting to be repatriated.
The boat was moved to Cala Figuera for further examination while the Guardia Civil continued to search the area in case there had been any other immigrants on board.

Last night the central government delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias, announced that a full investigation is going to be launched to establish why the two long range detection radar installed on the south coast of Majorca, failed to detect the motor launch. Official sources claimed yesterday that Majorca's two mobile radar units were involved in a special operation but, nevertheless, central government delegate sources admitted that the authorities are “worried” that the Balearics may be facing a new influx of illegal immigrants sailing the 300 kilometres from Algeria.

The group set sail from Algeria on Monday and had been at sea for 35 hours.
According to the security forces, those organising the crossings from North Africa to Majorca, two skippers are in jail, are using the old smuggling routes to sail to Majorca but, the new radars should have clocked yesterday's vessel enabling the Guardia Civil to intercept the boats before they reach land.


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