Attempting to leave Africa at all cost, Spanish police guards on duty at the border in Beni-Enzar, Morocco arrested four stowaway migrants in less than 3 hours on Saturday, May 24, 2019. Images of the migrants have since flooded the internet and trended on social media.
The four Moroccan migrants whose names and identities have yet to be made public include a 15-year-old girl, two young men aged 20 and 21 and a 31-year-old man.
While one was caught hiding behind a car’s dashboard, the other three were caught in an engine compartment behind a car’s rear seats and
in a dumper truck respectively in different cars.
The migrants have since been arrested and taken to the hospital for treatment after suffering from pains in various parts of their bodies, suffocation and disorientation due to the strange positions they were in. The drivers of each vehicle have also been taken in by the police for questioning.
This is not the first time Spanish officers working at the border have reported such attempts to enter Europe. Since January there have been arrests of several Africans hiding in all sorts of places with the hope of crossing over to Europe. Same can be said in several other Northern African countries that share borders with or are close to European countries such as Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.
With the number of visa rejections on the rise since 2017, several Africans are returning to the rather dangerous method of making the trip to Europe and making a life there.
In January 2019, two men were found sewn into mattresses in Morocco with hopes of making it into Europe through Spain. A 12-year-old boy was also discovered behind a dashboard in 2017.
In 2017, Spanish authorities arrested a man and a woman from Guinea hiding in the dashboard of a car attempting to enter Spain through the Ceuta.
In 2016, a Moroccan woman was arrested for attempting to smuggle an African immigrant inside a travel suitcase at the airport.
In December last year, hundreds of desperate illegal African migrants caused a security breach when they attempted to scale the fence from the Moroccan end and climb into Ceuta. The incident left more than 50 Moroccan and Spanish border guards injured.
Migrants who prefer to travel through Libya usually join illegal boats which could lead to death from drowning, cold or being shot.