A MOROCCAN man called Abdallah Wazri has been found guilty of two counts of manslaughter and one count of crimes against foreign citizens after he smuggled migrants from Morocco to the Canary Islands last year.
The captain will now spend eight years in jail and has been ordered to pay a €160,000 fine.
One woman and a one-year-old girl were killed in the fatal journey.
Another woman who is believed to have died is still missing.
The court heard how Wazri charged 30 people €1,000 each to be stuffed onto a boat that was 5.5 metres long and 2.5 metres wide for five days.
Travelling from Northern Morocco to the Spanish archipelago, passengers included 11 women and three young girls.
When the boat arrived in Gran Canaria on May 16 2019, “the captain performed a hurried and risky manoeuvre to bring the boat to shore, which led the vessel to collide with a rock and several people to fall into the sea,” the court heard.
Testimony’s from the passengers and police have shocked the court: “Almost all the witnesses gave similar accounts of the miseries they suffered on the journey, during which they were piled on top of each other, unable to move and left without supplies, which were scarce and which soon ran out,” said the judge.
The verdict comes less than a week after 140 people travelling from Senegal to the Canaries by boat were killed in the worst shipwreck of 2020.
Approximately 414 people have died attempting to reach the Canary Island’s this year.