Boat people figure falls 9pc

10th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 August, 2004, MADRID - At least 44 illegal immigrants are known to have drowned trying to get into Spain by boat so far this year.

10 August, 2004

MADRID - At least 44 illegal immigrants are known to have drowned trying to get into Spain by boat so far this year.

But the number of people detained on arrival has fallen by more than 9 percent to just under 7,300 compared with the same period last year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said on Tuesday.

Of these, 292 were women and 183 were children, including just 13 girls.

So far this year the number of clandestine boats detected by Spanish authorities has fallen from 430 to 307, while the number of boat owners arrested has dropped from 135 to 115.

Most of the landings have been in the Canary Islands where 4.142 immigrants have been detained, the majority on Fuerteventura, against 3,149 on the peninsular coasts around the Straits of Gibraltar.

With six boats capsizing, at least 44 people have drowned, while a further 131 people have been rescued from the sea, according to the Ministry's figures.

Last year the number of known deaths by mid-August was 57 from seven shipwrecks, although a further 41people were listed as 'disappeared'.

Nearly all the owners of the boats who have been arrested so far this year are Moroccans, although they also include eight from Sierra Leone, five from Ghana, and two from Spain.

Morocco also saw the highest number of would-be immigrants, 3,050, followed by Mali, 1,317; Gambia  808 and Guinea 257.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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