Forty-four Moroccans trying to reach Spain aboard three ships have been arrested off the country's northeastern coast, Morocco's official news agency said Thursday.
The would-be immigrants were intercepted at Al Hoceima and de Ras Kebdana and taken to the nearest gendarmerie on Wednesday to face legal proceedings, the news agency said, citing marine authorities.
On Tuesday, 33 Africans -- 30 Nigerian women and 3 Senegalese nationals -- were arrested while trying to cross the Straits of Gibralter toward Spain aboard a rubber dinghy.
A total of 143 people were taken into custody off Morocco's Atlantic and Mediterranean shores between August 30 and September 4th.
Spanish authorities say up to 25,000 illegal immigrants are living in northern Morocco in the hope of entering Spain through the enclaves of Ceuta or Melilla, or by ship across the Straits of Gibraltar - RABAT (AFP)
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