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Boat with seven Moroccan illegal immigrants intercepted off the coast of Ria Formosa

54illegal immigrantA vessel with seven migrants on board was intercepted by the Maritime Police of Faro and Olhão over the weekend, on Saturday, around 12 noon, in the Ria Formosa Natural Park.

According to the National Maritime Authority (AMN), the seven men are between 20 and 30 years old and claim to be Moroccan citizens. The alert was given to authorities by a local fisherman whilst out working, who telephoned the Local Command of the Maritime Police of Faro “realizing that a vessel with men on board, appearing to be lost, was near the Faro-Olhão region. Two Maritime Police vessels, one from Faro and the other from Olhão were dispatched to the location”.

“The vessels intercepted the boat already inside the Ria Formosa, between Hangares and Culatra”, added the Maritime Authority. The Maritime Police followed the vessel up to the Olhão Lifeboat Station wharf, “the seven men disembarked and were directed to the Local Command of the Maritime Police of Olhão, where they were looked over by an INEM team, awaiting the arrival of the Aliens and Borders Service”.

In the meantime, the Aliens and Border Service are currently reporting that the seven migrants, who were traveling “on a small motorboat”, are already receiving their aid and that “the procedures necessary to ascertain their identities, as well as assessing the situation” are being carried out.

The seven men have been given access to “basic needs, including food and medical assistance”. “Tests will be carried out for screening of COVID-19 by the Algarve Biomedical Center of the University of Algarve”, added the service.