Taxi-patera, the new reckless traffic of immigrants

Taxi-patera, the new reckless traffic of immigrants

On Wednesday, November 29, in front of the beach of Camposoto, in the town of Cadiz in San Fernando, four immigrants drowned after being thrown into the sea from a boat more than 50 meters from dry land. This chapter came to light because it was recorded by many people who were in the area, but it was not an isolated event. This is the growing modus operandi of the taxi-patera, the new unscrupulous business of immigration mafias operating between Morocco, Algeria and Spain.

The aforementioned tragedy could be even greater. There were 35 passengers traveling in that taxi-boat. The crew threw the immigrants overboard in two batches: eight people on the beach of Sancti Petri and the rest in Camposanto. In both cases, the gangsters removed the immigrants in particularly dangerous areas, with eddies and currents of up to four knots.

In Sancti Petri, only the determined action of the employees of a marine company – which fortunately was on shore because they were hired to make a recording of many ‘Instagrammers’ – prevented the drowning of many more. They, with their small inflatable boat, removed some of the ‘undocumented’ people without knowledge.

The criminals flying the boat did not care knowing that many of the passengers warned them that they did not know how to swim or the evidence that they all wore many clothes, some had up to three clothes and many more. overlapping pants. An extra burden to stay afloat and save his life.

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Taxi-boat owners are only interested in returning to Morocco as soon as possible, a trip of less than an hour to the coast of Cádiz and longer from Algeria to Almería, Murcia or Alicante, the another route for this type. by boat, which this year is increasing as an alternative route for immigrants with more economic possibilities.

And, according to officials from the Civil Guard, the cost of a ticket on these boats can reach 5,000 euros. The mafia’s claim is always the same: the trip is shorter and safer. Although the criminals hid how they threw those so-called ‘VIP’ passengers overboard.

Travel benefits

In this new business of clandestine immigration, state security sources reported, groups of Maghreb and Spanish drug dealers have fully entered, which until now remained far from the mafias that organized the trip on traditional wooden boats.

The drug traffickers who control the Strait and the Mediterranean coasts have replaced the old pateras (artisanal fishing boats without any modifications) with the drug boats they usually use to deliver hashish to the peninsula. From boats that barely exceed ten kilometers per hour (about 5.3 knots), immigrants now travel at almost 130 kilometers per hour (70 knots).

These ships are very valuable to drug smugglers who have become human traffickers, but have not left the hashish business. Inflatable boats or ‘rubber boats’ and their motors can cost more than 300,000 euros so, unlike boats, they cannot be left stranded on beaches. Therefore, the criminals’ priority is to return to Africa as soon as possible with the ‘rubber’ empty, even if it means not touching land and throwing passengers overboard.

Specialists from the Civil Guard explained that these boats only come to the shores in two cases: when they bring bundles of drugs with immigrants, something that is not common but started which appears more and more often; or when mafias use the return trip to carry cargo, often stolen phones, or bring amphetamines and ecstasy manufactured in Europe to Algeria or Morocco.

In fact, just a few days ago, at the end of this past November, the Civil Guard seized 68 kilos of amphetamine worth three million euros in ‘operation Emisario’, where they arrested seven human traffickers who took advantage of the return flights. to Algeria to bring those drugs to Africa.

Only in one-way transport, that of immigrants, the mafias earn between 150,000 and 200,000 euros and – these same sources point out – it is likely that each drug boat makes a daily round trip.

To pilot these gliders with such a heavy load of people and drugs (if they also carry stashes) requires an experienced ‘crew’, which also acts as a security service to throw immigrants into the sea without touching land.

In the taxi-boat trip that ended in tragedy on the beaches of San Fernando, the crew consisted of four suspects, two Spaniards – a man and a woman – and two Moroccans who managed to flee to the sea The four who were arrested on Monday in Cádiz for the death of another migrant on the coast of Barbate on October 21 suffered a different fate. They are accused of crimes of homicide, against the rights of foreign citizens and against public health.