Between January and April of this year, the Moroccan authorities aborted 10,311 attempts to immigrate to Spain. The majority of these crossings, more than 8,000, concerned sub-Saharan nationalities, then Moroccan nationals for the rest, according to sources within the Interior Ministry.
The checks were coordinated by different departments, between the Directorate General of National Security (DGSN), the Royal Gendarmerie, the Navy and the Auxiliary Forces at the coast.
According to the same source, the arrests linked to these operations have led to the dismantling of more than 50 human trafficking networks. On the high seas, the Moroccan authorities also participated in the rescue of 1,282 people.
Figures from the Spanish Interior Ministry, which add to interceptions in the first five months of the year, point to 6,107 entries into Spain by sea, with an increase on the Canary route. In the region, the 2,475 registered arrivals represent an increase of 2,000%, compared to the same period of 2019, against a decrease of 50% in arrivals on the Iberian Peninsula.
For their part, Moroccan sources within the DGSN said that the Canary Islands route is used more by sub-Saharan migrants, while nationals opt for the Mediterranean. Even if the route to the Canaries is longer and therefore more dangerous, it remains cheaper.
On another note, the health crisis linked to the pandemic of the new coronavirus has considerably reduced the departure of migrants, by both sea and land. This is explained by the measures to close the borders and restrict the movements that the state of emergency has engendered.