'Morocco foiled 63,121 illegal immigration attempts in 2021'

International |  IANS  | Published : Sun, May 08, 2022, 12:14 PM

Rabat, May 8 (IANS) Morocco foiled 63,121 illegal immigration attempts in 2021, the interior ministry said in a report.

In the first quarter of 2022, the North African country foiled 14,746 illegal immigration attempts, according to the ministry report published after Friday's meeting of the Moroccan-Spanish Permanent Joint Migration Group, Xinhua news agency reported.

Morocco has become an important crossing point for migrants, mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe.

In 2021, Moroccan authorities bust 256 migrant trafficking networks, and 52 more in the first quarter of 2022, the report said.

About 3,500 people chose to return voluntarily from Morocco to their country of origin in 2021, and 1,080 in the first quarter of 2022, it added.

A total of 14,236 migrants were saved at sea in 2021, according to the report.

The Moroccan-Spanish Permanent Joint Migration Group met on Friday for the first time since 2019, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and their diplomatic crisis over Madrid's changed policy on Western Sahara question that lasted a year and ended only a month ago.

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