POLICE arrested a 19-year old Algerian for skippering an inflatable dinghy heading for the Spanish coast with 18 migrants on board.
The five-metre long boat was intercepted by Almeria maritime rescue 40 nautical miles east of Cabo de Gata.
Police identified the young Algerian as one of the individuals who had organised the crossing to Spain from a beach in Canastel in the North African country, and for being the only person responsible for navigating and steering the craft across the Mediterranean.
A police statement said that prior to making the crossing the 19-year old had had the job of getting together a group willing to do the journey and for getting each person to hand over the equivalent of €500.
After they set off he told the migrants that if they were rescued they should say they had taken the navigating and steering in turns.