People smuggler arrested

The National Police have identified and arrested a people smuggler who was trying to traffic nine people to Spain in his boat.

Each of the passengers, all from Algeria, are believed to have paid the man €1,500 apiece.

The investigation started after the coastguard rescued the Algerians from the boat some nine nautical miles off the coast of the Cabo de Gata. Officers interviewed the men and quickly identified the alleged captain of the boat.

He had launched his small craft off the beach at Bouz-Ville near Oran on November 29. The coastguard intercepted the craft the next morning. It is not known if the man had made the voyage on any previous occasion.

Investigators also say that the witnesses claim to have paid the man directly, and that he was advertising his transport service in the Algerian capital of Oran.

The man has been charged with offences against the rights of foreign citizens at instruction court number six in Almería city. The Judge has ordered that he be remanded without bail until the trial can be arranged.

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