Spanish Police Find Woman Hiding in Car Trunk from Morocco’s Nador

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Rabat – Spanish police in Almeria, Spain detected an irregular migrant hiding in a suitcase inside a trunk of a vehicle, which landed for the Tijarafe Volcano ferry from Nador, eastern Morocco.

During a check-in operation on July 30, police noticed the heavy suitcase, in which the woman was hidden.

When they opened the suitcase to check, the police found the woman with “obvious symptoms of exhaustion and dehydration.”

Spanish police called emergency medical services to assist the woman

Police opened an investigation to determine the identity of the car’s driver and the person hiding in the suitcase according to Diario de Almeria.

The Spanish news outlet said that so far this year police in Almeria have helped 98 people who were hidden between luggage or inside vehicles. This number includes stowaways on North African ships who jump into the sea during docking operations.

This is not the first time the Spanish civil guard has discovered migrants hidden inside the car as a way to cross the border.

 Spanish police found two underage sub-Saharan African migrants on December 30, 2018.

In  May, police in Spain also found three migrants inside car dashboards and engines trying to sneak into Europe from the Morocco-Melilla border.

In the same month, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) released data, showing that Mediterranean migrant arrivals have reached 19,830 in 2019.

Though there has been a 30% decrease from the 28,325 Mediterranean arrivals during the first half of 2018, the IOM reports that the irregular immigration rate to Spain is 7,666. This statistic is not too different from the 8,150 irregular immigrants who arrived in Spain in the first 6 months of last year.

Like Spain, Morocco has been also facing the pressure of irregular migration as the North African country has become a transit country for migrants who aim to cross its borders and reach the EU.

Both Morocco and the EU discussed means to double efforts to curb irregular migration.

In July, the Moroccan director of migration at the Ministry of Interior, Khalid Zerouali, said that Morocco’s security services thwarted more than 40,300 irregular migration attempts since the beginning of 2019.

He said that the number of foiled irregular migration attempts represents an increase of 25% from the same period of 2018.