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Juvenile migrants abscond, thought to have crossed into Spain

Two Moroccan teenagers who were rescued at sea last July are believed to have jumped the border fence into Spain.

The two teenagers were among four juveniles in a group of seven migrants who had been trying to reach Spain but were dropped by people smugglers off the Detached Mole last July.

The seven were plucked from the sea at night by port and law enforcement vessels after crew on a merchant vessel raised the alarm.

All seven were subsequently charged with being in Gibraltar without a valid permit but have pleaded not guilty and the case remains before the courts.

The four juveniles were initially remanded at Windmill Hill prison but, amid concerns that this was not appropriate for the youngsters, were later released on bail.

The Care Agency produced a care plan for the court and, as part of the bail conditions, the juveniles were told they must reside at an address allocated by the agency.

But on Monday the Royal Gibraltar Police received a report that “two of the juveniles had absconded from their carers” while at Eastern beach, a police spokesman said yesterday.

The boys had been seen walking north along the beach, leading police to suspect they may have made their way into Spain.

The RGP said inquiries were being made with Spanish authorities to try and establish the boys’ whereabouts.

The remaining two juveniles remain with Care Agency, while the three adults are in custody at Windmill Hill prison pending resolution of their case.

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