Migrant Rescued From Lorry Roof Highlights Spanish Border Challenge

Migrant Rescued By Police From Roof Of lorry

National Police. Credit: Natalia de la Rubia/Shutterstock.com

A recent incident in which the National Police, in collaboration with the Frontex Agency, discovered a migrant in a life-threatening situation on the roof of a refrigerated lorry, highlights the challenges facing Spain’s border control.

The rescue took place during the Minerva operation, a joint initiative between the Policia Nacional and Frontex. The migrant, found in the Port of Algeciras, was travelling from Tangier. Alerted by the canine unit of the National Police, the agents were led to the lorry.

Migrant Rescued From Roof Of Lorry

Upon inspection, they found a man lying face down, struggling to breathe and showing clear signs of exhaustion. With the aid of a ladder, the agents reached him, providing initial assistance before ensuring his complete recovery.

Shortly after this incident, the same team intercepted 13 luxury watches, believed to be counterfeit. These were being smuggled into the national territory from Tangier.

Operation Minerva: A Closer Look

Starting on June 16 and scheduled to conclude on September 6, Operation Minerva 2023 involves 94 experts from 16 countries. In 2022, the operation resulted in 2,034 identifications and over 1,900 police actions.

The primary aim of this operation is to bolster the border posts of Algeciras, Ceuta, and Tarifa during the summer. This is to combat human trafficking, other forms of cross-border crime, and to prevent illegal immigrants Spain sees each year. Through meticulous border inspections, concealed individuals in various transport modes are detected, as well as the identification of forged documents.

Furthermore, the operation targets cross-border crime, focusing on criminal organisations involved in human trafficking, narcotics, weapons, vehicles, and jihadist terrorism. It sheds light on the tactics employed in illegal border crossings.

Its main objective is to reinforce the border posts of Algeciras, Ceuta and Tarifa during the summer season, in order to fight against human trafficking and other manifestations of cross-border criminality and to prevent irregular immigration.

Thanks to the border inspection, it is possible to detect methods of concealment of persons in various means of transport, as well as the use of false documents.

This operation also combats cross-border crime in any of its manifestations, with special attention to the activity of criminal organisations dedicated to human trafficking, illegal trafficking of narcotics, weapons and vehicles, and jihadist terrorism. It also provides information on the modus operandi used in illegal crossing activities through border crossings.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.