MORE than 500 people, many of them minors, have been caught in the last month trying to get into Spain as stowaways from the North African ports of Ceuta and Melilla.
They were found hiding in both passenger and cargo ships and often in extremely hazardous locations, according to National Police.
Increased vehicle and lorry checks were carried out along with a tightening of security throughout the port areas especially prior to shipment.
Police said the ships were mainly chosen by the stowaways if they were going to Malaga, Almeria and Motril.
Some of them were found hiding under trucks, in cargo waiting to be unloaded and even climbing the mooring lines.
Others tried to swim into loading areas which police described as particularly dangerous.