Tunisia returns 70 Morocco passengers over doubts of illegal immigration

Migrants are seen on a inflatable boat as they try to reach Greece

Tunisia has refused 70 Moroccan entry because it suspects they are planning to illegally immigrate to Europe, the spokesperson of the Ministry of the Interior said on monday 18 June.

“There were passengers who planned to take Tunis as a station for their illegal immigration,” Sofiene Zaag said. “They did not have luggage enough for staying in Tunis even for two days. They did not have money.”

He said that returning the Moroccan passengers was “part of effort s to protect these youths and in an effort not to make Tunis a transit passage for illegal and secret immigration.”

The passengers were banned from disembarking from the plane in which they had travelled to the Carthage International Airport.

Human traffickers increasingly use Tunisia as a launch pad for migrants heading to Europe as Libya’s coast guard, aided by armed groups, has tightened controls.