Spain: the chilling story of minor Algerian harragas

For years, we have been hearing about the staggering numbers of Algerian harragas who choose to put their lives in danger, paying astronomical sums to perhaps be able to go to the other side of the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, many of them do not reach their destination, losing their lives or being intercepted by the authorities.

This time, it is the sad story of 16 Algerian harragas, including 6 minors and two women, who were arrested by agents of the UCRIF group (Central Unit for Clandestine Immigration Networks and False Documents) of the of Immigration and Borders from the National Police Station in Ibiza, Spain. But also two other Algerians, the owner and the assistant of the boat, were also arrested. Accused of having committed violations of the rights of foreigners and of incitement to illegal immigration.

The boat they intended to take to Figueretes beach in Ibiza was intercepted. As stated in a note from the Spanish National Police. The latter was found by a customs control boat as it drifted with a damaged engine near the beach of Figueretes.

The total number of passengers was sixteen (16), all of Algerian origin and without papers. Eight (8) of them are men, two (2) are women and six (6) are minors between 5 and 14 years old.

A journey in horrible conditions according to the Spanish police

According to inspections carried out by the scientific police of the Spanish National Police. It falls under the naval command of Ibiza and Formentera. The boat lacked basic safety measures in addition to being overloaded.

Investigations revealed the circumstances of the trip, their place of origin, the duration of the trip and the terrible conditions in which they travelled. The boat was completely packed and there was no room to move, while the passengers felt immense fear the whole way. Especially since many of them do not know how to swim.

Once the detainees were made available to the court in Ibiza, it was agreed that the captain of the boat would be remanded in custody without bail. The second person arrested has been released.

The note from the Spanish police adds that investigations are continuing into the possible existence of a criminal network responsible for the organization and logistics of clandestine crossings from the Algerian coast to Ibiza.

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