According to recent investigative reporting, human trafficking networks are preparing a large deployment of illegal vessels to cross from Algeria to the southeastern Spanish coast and Mediterranean islands. This route became extremely popular in 2021, and is now poised to be exploited further.
The networks in question use online platforms, including Facebook groups with up to 50,000 members, to mobilize would-be illegal migrants wanting to make the trip, each of which costs about €4,000.
As ever, the strategy is one of numerically overwhelming Algerian and Spanish border guards, such that at least 50% of the vessels carrying people from the north African coast evade interception.
The logistical galvanization of human traffickers operating in Algeria is particularly concerning given that the migration flux they facilitate originates in areas of high-risk for Islamist, Salafi radicalization.
For its part, the information services of Spain’s police force have said that the State’s Security Forces (“Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad,” or FyCSE), together with their Algerian counterparts, are aware of the potential imminent arrival of large numbers of illegal migrants to the Spanish regions of the Balearic Islands, Murcia, and the eastern Andalusian province of Almería.