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Man arrested after immigrants thrown into water 

Agents of the National Police have arrested in Zaragoza the alleged organiser of a trip in a patera that was wrecked last April and in which eleven people died.

The ship departed from Tangier (Morocco) and had as its destination the Spanish coast, specifically Algeciras, with 12 immigrants of sub-Saharan origin on board of which only one survived, who was rescued by Maritime Rescue. The boat was shipwrecked by the strong waves and the terrible conditions of the boat and, until now, only four of the bodies have been recovered and the rest of the occupants are missing.

The criminal organisation composed of people of Senegalese and Nigerian origin charged 500 euros for the journey.

During the early morning, the traffickers “threw” the immigrants into the water with the only indication of following the lights towards the Spanish coast. They themselves were in charge of piloting the boats, without having elements to orient themselves and without knowledge of navigation with the danger that this entails for their lives.

Police said the boats used were of very low quality, with motors with little power and little buoyancy.

The organiser was arrested in the town of Épila (Zaragoza). He was responsible for the recruitment, accommodation, transfer to the place of departure, collection of amounts and provision of material for trips such as the boat, gasoline, motor or oars.

The investigation is still open.