Police stop boat with 176 immigrants

15th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 October 2004, LAS PALMAS - Spanish authorities intercepted at dawn Friday a boat carrying 176 illegal immigrants trying to reach the island of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, the regional government office announced.

15 October 2004

LAS PALMAS - Spanish authorities intercepted at dawn Friday a boat carrying 176 illegal immigrants trying to reach the island of  Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, the regional government office announced.

The immigrants were all from sub-Saharan Africa and the authorities said the ship, the M.V. Polar, appeared to have started its voyage in "Guinea Bissau or Cape Verde, or even both countries."

It was the largest number of clandestine would-be immigrants detained in a single incident in Spain this year.

The captain, described as being "of white race" and three presumed members of the crew of the boat, which was flying no flag, were arrested.

Efforts were under way to identify them.

In the first nine months of this year, 11,473 would-be immigrants from north and sub-Saharan Africa were intercepted off the coasts of Spain, the Employment Ministry announced on 4 October.

During that period, 54 people drowned and 40 were reported lost in the shipwrecks on voyages to the southern coast of mainland Spain and to its Atlantic Ocean archipelago.

A government study published in August said that organised crime gangs, which used to send immigrants only from Morocco have now begun using as points of departure west African countries such as Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
  
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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