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In the months of July and August, there have been three interceptions off shore from Santa Pola, Torrevieja and the Orihuela Costa

In just two months dozens of illegal immigrants have arrived on the Alicante coastline from the Mediterranean, rescued by the emergency services in boats that are totally unfit to be at sea, interceptions mostly following onshore surveillance by the immigration services.

There is now a great deal of concern that recent figures have shown an increase of those previously discovered of 500%.

As such the Alicante coastline is once again back in the spotlight, much of it as a result of the illegal, but very well organized, immigration mafia.

At the end of 2013 many people thought that such trafficking operations were seeing their demise with only one boat, carrying 8 people, having been picked up by the Alicante Immigration Services during the summer, but in the last couple of weeks alone a new wave of boats arrived in Torrevieja carrying 19 people, all in just a few short hours on one Saturday morning.

So the increase is 500% up on the figures recorded last year, and we are still only in August, with just 8 months of the year gone. Indeed the one boat that was escorted into Torrevieja last December was actually heading for Murcia but adverse weather conditions blew it off course into a part of the sea just south of Alicante.

However this year, in the months of July and August, there have been three interceptions off shore from Santa Pola, Torrevieja and the Orihuela Costa resulting in the capture of seven boats and the detention of 49 illegal immigrants.

In 2012, 63 people were detained having arrived on 5 boats. Last year there was a most welcome reduction in that figure by 87%, the deterrent effect said to be the External Surveillance System (Sive) deployed in 2009, but it seems that this radar device is simply not enough to stop the trafficking, although it does allow the Immigration Service to at least detect and track the boats prior to the passengers being illegally disembarked.

The Director of the University of Alicante’s Immigration Observatory, Dr. Carlos Gomez, said yesterday that the reasons for this phenomenon and the changes in recent years are to be found mainly in its origin, in Algeria, where the mafia has now taken over the control of this illegal flow of immigration.

Gomez said that these clandestine networks cheat on their ‘clients’, who, in most cases are completely unaware that they will almost certainly be caught and repatriated.

Dr Gomez says that the solution is to provide more information at source so that these people know the dangers they face and that despite the large sums of money that they almost certainly pay paid for their trips, they are destined to failure. This can be easily done by the greater involvement and cooperation of the authorities of Spain and Algeria.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44795/

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