Moroccan migrant dies inside suitcase en route to Spain

27-year-old Moroccan man suffocates to death after his brother attempts to smuggle him to Spain in a suitcase in the boot of his car 

n May police discovered an eight-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast curled up inside a suitcase at the border of Morocco and Spain
n May police discovered an eight-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast curled up inside a suitcase at the border of Morocco and Spain

A Moroccan man suffocated to death inside a suitcase after his brother tried to smuggle him into Spain in the boot of his car.

The Spanish government said that the 27-year-old was attempting to cross the ferry from Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla to the mainland Spanish city of Almeria. The suitcase he was hidden inside was in the boot of a car belonging to his 34-year-old brother, who was on the same ferry.

When the ferry was nearing Almeria and the stowaway’s brother went to check on him, he saw that he was “suffering from asphyxia”. Upon arriving at the port, a medical team attempted to revive him.

The older brother, who has a French passport, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. The identity of the dead man has not been officially confirmed.

Melilla and Spain’s other north African territory, Ceuta, have become common points of entry into Europe for migrants in recent years. Six-metre-high fences surround both Melilla and Ceuta, which border Morocco. Migrants, mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa, frequently attempt to scale the fences or hide in secret compartments in cars headed to the cities. Others attempt to reach the cities by swimming around the border or by paddling around it in inflatable dinghies.

Human Rights Watch says at least 4,300 people entered Ceuta and Melilla illegally in 2013, compared to 2,804 the year before.

In February last year, hundreds of migrants stormed the fence in Melilla in one day, with around 100 of them managing to force their way into the enclave.

In May this year , an eight-year-old boy from Ivory Coast was found inside the suitcase of a Moroccan woman as it passed through a security checkpoint in Ceuta. He was later reunited with his mother, who lives legally in Spain, after he was granted a temporary residence permit.

His father, who also lives in Spain, was arrested in connection with the incident and is awaiting trial on bail on charges of illegal migration.

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