Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Immigrant found in suitcase by Spanish Civil Guard

It happened on the Melilla border in northern Africa.  Spain's Civil Guard found an illegal immigrant, tucked away in a suitcase.  

According to a spokesman, "He was not a small man", but he certainly appears to be agile - see the video at the end of this article.

It happened on Friday at 2:30 p.m..  A Civil Guard officer was watching, with great interest, as a Moroccan man dragged a huge and obviously heavy suitcase through the checkpoint at Beni Enzar.  This checkpoint separates Morocco from the Spanish exclave of Melilla.

As the man was obviously having great difficult managing the heavy burden, the officer decided to take a closer look. According to sources at the Civil Guard, “He called out to him several times to inspect the bag but the man did not pay any attention.”

As the officer continued to challenge the man, he panicked, dropped the suitcase and ran into Spanish territory.

On opening the suitcase, the Civil Guard officer discovered that the "luggage" was actually a 19-year-old sub-Saharan immigrant, trying to get into Europe illegally.

The spokesman for the Civil Guard, Juan Antonio Martín Rivera, said, “He was tall, thin and with a considerable physique. We’re not talking about a small person here.”

Rivera added that other border agents gave chase and apprehended the 39-year-old, suitcase bearing, Moroccan man 150 meters from the checkpoint.

El Pais reports that according to the spokesman, the boy was actually a victim in the incident, didn't need any medical assistance, and was then handed over to the National Police.  He was then transferred to a CETI temporary immigration holding center and appeared in court with the suitcase labeled as evidence in the matter.

The Moroccan man, who is a legal resident of Lleida in Catalonia, has been placed in custody on suspicion of a crime against the rights of foreign nationals.

According to Rivera a similar incident happened a couple of years ago, when they found an immigrant in the boot of a car, hidden inside a large bag.  He added that at first they thought they would find some kind of protected species of animal in the suitcase, but were surprised to find a young African man from Mali instead.