Algerian people smugglers arrested

TEN Algerians have been arrested by Spanish police in Almeria and Murcia on suspicion of smuggling migrants into Spain.

The 10 detainees – including the suspected ringleader – are believed to be members of a gang that charges around €600 per person to smuggle Algerian migrants into Spain by boat.

Investigations began in November last year after two boats carrying 38 Algerian migrants were intercepted off the coast of Almeria. Two migrants died during the crossing when they fell overboard.

During one attempted crossing the boat broke down and four of the detained suspects set fire to a drum of gasoline to try and alert maritime rescue services to their presence.

“This act accidently burned the clothes of four occupants of the boat who were forced to jump overboard,” said a police statement. “Three were able to return to the boat and the fourth drowned.”

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