By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THIRTEEN more illegal immigrants from Africa were detained in Majorca yesterday forcing the Spanish authorities to admit that the Balearics is a new European entry point for illegal immigrants but denied that organised gangs of human traffickers are operating the migrant routes.

The 13 immigrants were arrested by the Guardia Civil after they beached their high-speed rib on the beach at S'Estalella in Llucmajor.
A search for more possible immigrants was on-going yesterday evening.
The alarm was raised at 8.30 am when a resident in Cala Pi stumbled across four illegal immigrants on his Cas Guimara estate.
They asked for assistance in getting to Palma.
Both the Guardia Civil and the Local Police swung into action, sweeping the area for other suspected immigrants.
A total of seven immigrants were arrested near Cas Guimara and as the hunt continued throughout the morning a further six were arrested - some had already reached Palma.

According to the central government delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias who ruled out that organised mafias were operating between Algeria and Majorca, the immigrants could have come ashore over night Wednesday and are believed to have set off from Dellys in Algeria.

He said that, of those detained, the youngest was 22 and the eldest 33. Four Algerians, three Moroccans, a Libyan and an Iraqi.
All had reached Majorca safe and sound, none were injured or sick, and all of them are expected to be transferred to an immigrant holding centre in Barcelona today where they will be processed and subsequently deported.

This is the seventh boat load of immigrants to have reached the Balearics this year and Socias added that many of those detained yesterday, like the others caught in Majorca this year, were carrying GPS satellite navigation systems, food, water, mobile phones, a change of clothes and sufficient money for a taxi to Palma and a ferry ticket to the mainland and France, their suspected final destination.

Last month two state-of-the-art radars were installed in Majorca to monitor suspect shipping movements in southern Majorcan waters.
Socias said yesterday that both were working but the area where this latest boat was beached is out of their radar coverage.
Socias added that the Guardia Civil, as part of a European operation, have three patrol launches, one with highly advanced night radar equipment, patrolling north African waters.

Police helicopters and mobile units continued to comb the municipality of Lluchmajor yesterday and the general public, while praised for their co-operation once again, is urged to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious to the police.

Comments

To be able to write a comment, you have to be registered and be logged in.

* Mandatory fields

Currently there are no comments.