A GROUP of sixteen Moroccan immigrants have taken refuge on a Spanish islet after arriving by patera boat yesterday.
The group, which includes three pregnant women and three children, is thought to be the first to use the uninhibited Islet de Tierra to gain asylum.
There is currently speculation as to whether they could be part of a human trafficking operation run by organised crime groups using the Spanish islets in North Africa as new migration routes.
Although the islet is so close to the Moroccan coast – just 10 metres when the tide is out – its Spanish sovereignty means the group is now under the responsibility of Spain’s government.
The government has guaranteed humanitarian assistance to the group but admitted it is unsure of the next steps to take.