Migrants arriving in Palma. | Ultima Hora

The 22-year-old skipper of a dinghy that arrived in Majorca on September 12 with 15 migrants onboard has been arrested for alleged smuggling.

The suspect has an Algerian Navigation Licence and allegedly belongs to one of the most active trafficking groups operating between Algeria and the Balearic Islands.

After questioning the migrants, Police confirmed that the suspect makes regular boat trips from the small town of Dellys on the northern coast of Algeria to the Balearic Islands.

Migrants pay €600-€1,000 each to travel to Spain and most are arrested and repatriated at the expense of the Spanish Authorities, but many just repeat the process in the hope of starting a new life in Europe.

12 boats with 252 immigrants have arrived from northern Algeria in recent weeks.