Fourteen arrested for handling boats carrying illegal immigrants

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Fourteen arrested for handling boats carrying illegal immigrants
Illegal immigration CREDIT: Creu Roja Illes Balears Twitter @CreuRojaBalears

NATIONAL POLICE have arrested the men in charge of seven boats carrying illegal immigrants that recently arrived on the coasts of Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.

The 14 detainees were identified by the immigrants as being responsible for handling and sailing the boats, carrying 249 people, 55 of them minors, without any safety measures, life vests, food or drink for the duration of the trip.

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Two of the detainees, Moroccans aged 53 and 55, have police records.

They have now all been charged with favouring illegal immigration, three of them also for belonging to a criminal organisation and another four for reckless manslaughter.

The boats they were in charge of arrived between December 27, 2020 and March 25, 2021, to the coasts of Arguineguin (Gran Canaria), Orzola and Arrecife (Lanzarote).


One of the boats, carrying 52 immigrants, spent six days at sea until being rescued by Life Guards more than 130 miles south of Gran Canaria. They claimed that they had run out of water on the third day of the crossing, so they had been forced to drink sea water which made their condition worse. Four of those immigrants died during the journey and one more in the hospital, due to the terrible conditions of the trip.

After being treated by members of the Red Cross, some of them were admitted to hospitals in Gran Canaria due to their poor state of health.

All of the detainees were placed at the disposal of the competent courts, who ordered that eight of them be remanded in prison awaiting the appearance in court of the other six.



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Jennifer Leighfield
Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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