Staff Reporter

MINORCA
THE 10 illegal immigrants who arrived on the south coast of Minorca last Friday were yesterday transferred to Barcelona, where they were admitted to the Foreign Internment Centre, according to local police sources on Minorca.

The immigrants left the island shortly before 10am on the ferry Ramon Llull and they arrived in Barcelona at around 2pm. There they were taken to the holding centre to await deportation.

The Spanish Government's Representative to the Balearics, Ramon Socias, signed the deportation order so that they could be sent back to their country of origin.

The 10 immigrants, who appear to have come from Algeria, have denied arriving on the boat which, on Friday, was found in the early hours of the afternoon between Saura and Cala Vell on Minorca.

After being arrested six of them were kept at the National Police staion, while the other four were kept at the Local Police station in Ciutadella because of a lack of space.

Their court-appointed defence lawyer, Francesc Marques, confirmed that the men had not admitted having arrived in Minorca on board the boat.
According to police sources, they had brought a change of clothing with them, and the smart appearance of one who asked about boats to Valencia from Ciutadella aroused suspicions.

The boat they arrived on ran aground on the rocks.
It is not known just when it arrived in Minorca, but it is believed to have been on Thursday night or the early part of Friday.
It is the second such boat to reach Minorca. The first, with three persons aboard, ran aground at Binisafúller on September 30 last year. The three men were arrested in the port of Mahon when they tried to board a ferry to Barcelona.

Over the next few days there will be a meeting between the heads of the security forces and Ramon Socias to discuss what to do about the arrival of these boats from the north of Africa.

The Spanish Government representative office maintains that “there is no firm proof to show that a new route to Balearics has been opened for these boats”.

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