Palma.—The seven men, all of them young and in good health, appeared in court around 4.15pm where the judicial process for returning them to their country of origin was put in motion.

Central Government Delegate, Ramon Socias, said that it was likely that the men would be taken to a holding centre in Barcelona where they would remain until the Algerian consulate confirmed their identity and arrangements were made for their repatriation.

The immigrants, all of them adult males, had made a 20 hour journey from Algeria in a boat no more than 4.8 metres in length. On board, investigators found reserve fuel tanks as well as water and the remains of food eaten on the journey.

The vessel was spotted by an external radar system in the early hours of Monday morning. After the Guardia Civil had ascertained the passengers were immigrants, the boat was towed to Palma. This was a third attempt by illegal immigrants to enter Balearic waters this year, the last being on 18th June when a similar vessel was spotted by local fishermen south of Cabrera. Eleven people were arrested.

The first sighting was off the coast of Ses Salines after which eight illegal immigrants were arrested. All three boats had left the port of Dellys in Algeria.

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