Number of undocumented boat people making risky sea voyage to Canaries nearly triples during 2015

Undocumented migrants greeted by Spanish rescue workers upon reaching Canary Islands. Photo: Reuters
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• Nearly 700 migrants have crossed Atlantic from Morocco so far this year

• Traffickers charge 800-900 euros per person to make the dangerous journey

The European border control agency Frontex has reported that the number of undocumented immigrants attempting the dangerous boat journey from Morocco to Spain’s Canary Islands increased by 280 percent in the first 11 months of 2015, with nearly 700 people making landfall in the Canaries so far this year.

More than 150 people have died or disappeared crossing the Atlantic from Morocco, according to the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras (“Walking Borders”), with 80 percent of the victims originating from Guinea. In early December, the group reported, two boats carrying 85 people between them left separate ports in Morocco bound for the Canaries and are feared to have been lost at sea.

Frontex says that during 2015, the undocumented immigrants successfully reaching the Canaries by boat included 260 from Guinea, 94 from the Ivory Coast and 55 from Gambia.

Traffickers who transport the immigrants in boats overloaded with passengers and often in rough sea conditions charge between 800 euros and 900 euros per individual making the journey.

Read the Full Story in Spanish at El País >>

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