Novel ways of hid­ing mi­grants un­cov­ered

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

Guards on the border of Ceuta, Spain’s en­clave in North Africa, say they have de­tained one Moroc­can sus­pected of at­tempt­ing to smug­gle mi­grants con­cealed in a suit­case and an­other sus­pected of hid­ing mi­grants in a car.

Cus­tom agents found a 19-yearold mi­grant from Gabon hid­den in a suit­case pushed on a trol­ley by a wo­man who tried to cross the land border from Morocco on De­cem­ber 30, said a spokesman for the Guardia Civil in Ceuta.

The 22-year-old Moroc­can wo­man ap­par­ently raised sus­pi­cions by try­ing to avoid se­cu­rity checks.

When of­fi­cials asked her to open the lug­gage, they found the man curled up in the poorly ven­ti­lated space.

Po­lice said the man re­ceived im­me­di­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

On Mon­day, border po­lice found two more mi­grants hid­den in false com­part­ments built into a car ar­riv­ing from Morocco.

The mi­grants, both from Guinea, were found when the ve­hi­cle was stopped for an in­spec­tion as it en­tered Ceuta. The 20-year-old man was found be­tween the rear seats of the car and the trunk and the wo­man, 24, in a hid­den bot­tom built into the dash­board, guards said.

The driver was a 30-year-old Moroc­can who had al­legedly forged the num­ber plates of the ve­hi­cle, stolen two years ago in Barcelona, po­lice said.

Thou­sands of sub-Sa­ha­ran African mi­grants liv­ing il­le­gally in Morocco try to get to Europe each year by sea, of­ten in small craft un­fit for open wa­ters. Hun­dreds also risk their lives by climb­ing the 6m barbed-wire fences sur­round­ing Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s other North African en­clave.

On Sun­day, about 1100 African mi­grants stormed a border fence and at­tempted to en­ter Ceuta, leav­ing more than 50 Moroc­can and Span­ish border guards in­jured.

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