The intervention of the Moroccan coast guard came after a Spanish ship crew noticed floating bodies of migrants whose boat was drowned.
In their quest to reach the European Eldorado, migrants are increasingly shunning the Libyan routes for security reasons in favor of the closer and less risky Moroccan-Spanish land and sea borders.
Deaths in sea embarkations, almost impenetrable six-meter high fence and heavily patrolled land borders on the Moroccan and Spanish sides seem not dissuading thousands of Sub-Saharans dreaming of the European Eldorado.
Monitoring the borders with Spain to avert illegal immigration attempts cost Morocco an estimated annual amount of €250 million.
The UN Refugee Agency has warned Spain to prepare for an upcoming surge in migrant arrivals as the number of mostly sub-Saharans who made it to Spanish coasts has more than doubled in 2017 from the previous year, outpacing the Libya-Italy route as the fastest growing entry point to Europe.