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By Humphrey Carter

PHOTOS: S. AMENGUAL
THREE of the eleven illegal immigrants arrested in the south of Majorca on Monday were refused passage to Barcelona yesterday because the captain of the ferry was concerned about their medical condition.

One of the eleven, who had sailed across from North Africa on board two small boats, was thought to have been suffering from tuberculosis but was discharged from Manacor hospital on Monday after an hour-and-a-half of medical checks. However, as the eleven boarded a ferry under police escort to be taken to a holding centre in Barcelona yesterday, the ship's captain denied three of the immigrants passage on board amidst concerns about their health.

The three immigrants were yesterday admitted to Son Dureta hospital for tests to determine whether they are suffering from tuberculosis or not.
Once their medical conditions are confirmed, a Manacor judge will have to decide whether they remain in police custody here in Majorca or are taken to the immigration centre on the mainland to be processed and eventually repatriated.

The eleven are believed to have arrived in the early hours of Monday morning from the port of Delly in Algeria.
After the alarm was raised by a local fisherman who spotted one of the boats adrift, all eleven were eventually arrested in the area of Santanyi. None of them were carrying any form of identification and it took the authorities various days to establish who they are and where they had come from.

Since 2006, a total of 13 fishing boats of illegal immigrants have reached the Majorcan coast from North Africa.
All of them have apparently followed old smuggling routes between Algeria and the Balearics.
In response to the Balearics becoming a new destination for illegal immigrants trying to gain access to Spain and Europe, sophisticated maritime detection radar have been installed on the south coast of the Balearics.