500 illegal immigrants turned back

19th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 August 2004, MADRID — One of the biggest boatloads of illegal African immigrants headed for Spain has been turned back before reaching its target destination, the Canary Islands.

19 August 2004

MADRID — One of the biggest boatloads of illegal African immigrants headed for Spain has been turned back before reaching its target destination, the Canary Islands.

The vessel, with more than 500 people aboard, was intercepted as it set off from Sierra Leone, the Spanish national government representative in the Canary Islands, José Segura, announced on Monday.

Segura said the planned voyage had been uncovered in a joint operation carried out by security forces in Sierra Leone, neighbouring Guinea Conakry, and Spain.

He said more boats were being prepared for the journey to the Canaries from west Africa in what appeared to be a new strategy on the part of the people smugglers – carrying the would-be immigrants directly from their home region.

Until now most boat people have left from the shores of Morocco and the Western Sahara, directly to the east of the Canaries.

But the growing number of boat seizures in recent months has prompted the organised gangs involved in people smuggling to look for new routes he added.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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