Four illegal immigrants from Algeria have been captured by Spain’s Unit Against Immigration and Counterfeiting Networks (UCRIF) of the Provincial Brigade of Foreigners and Borders in the Balearic Islands. They have been identified as responsible for facilitating the irregular crossing of the Mediterranean of persons from North Africa to Spain. The four Algerians have allegedly organised the recent illegal arrival of ten boats to Ibiza, Cabrera, and Mallorca.
They have now been arrested on charges of promoting illegal migration via various social media accounts, and belonging to a criminal organisation. It seems they were charging between €700 and €1000 per head to make the trip.
Illegal crossings have been intensifying. Over the past week, 15 boats carrying 173 illegal migrants have made it to Spain’s Mediterranean islands, which have received over 1,600 undocumented persons from the North African coast so far this year, representing an increase of more than 90% with respect to 2020, as journalist Rubén Pulido observes.
The uptake in illegal migration from Algeria, a country that has historically done a great deal to arrest irregular movement of persons, may be a consequence of the Spanish government alienating this North African country by accommodating Morocco’s annexation of the Western Sahara, conforming to the U.S. position on the matter.