Eight of the illegal immigrants who were rescued by a French ship on Monday told the authorities in Majorca that they were minors. Tests designed to ascertain age have shown that they are not.
If an illegal immigrant is a minor, the treatment is different to that of an adult.
Minors are, in the case of Majorca, placed in the care of the Council of Majorca's social services.
Adults, and this applies to the whole of the Balearics and elsewhere in Spain, become the responsibility of the National Police and are automatically held in detention centres to await deportation.
All eighteen were scheduled to go before a court yesterday either in Palma or Inca. The French ship, the Mediterranée, was told to go to Alcudia by the Coastguard and the Guardia Civil. Alcudia is in the Inca court administrative area.
Once near Puerto Alcudia, they were transferred to a Coastguard ship. They were given another medical check, the ship's doctor on the Mediterranée having previously examined them, and were found to be in good health despite - as they maintained - having been adrift on their six-metre boat for four days.
They were held overnight on Monday at the National Police headquarters in Palma.