Moroccan suffocates trying to enter Spain in suitcase

His brother, who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, was apparently trying to smuggle him into Spain by ferry.

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MADRID // A 27-year-old Moroccan man suffocated to death while trying to illegally enter Spain hidden inside a suitcase in the trunk of a car, police said Monday.

The man’s older brother appears to have tried to smuggle him into Spain by ferry.

The older man, aged 34, legally boarded the ferry linking Melilla, a tiny Spanish territory in north Africa, and Almeria in southern Spain with a car on Sunday, a police spokesman said.

During the crossing he noticed that his brother was not breathing and alerted the ferry’s staff.

Crew members and emergency services workers in the port of Almeria tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the man.

Police have charged the man’s brother with involuntary manslaughter.

In May, police discovered an eight-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast curled up inside a suitcase – without air vents – that was being carried across a pedestrian crossing from Morocco into Ceuta, Spain's other north African territory.

A security scanner image of the boy curled up in the suitcase served as a shocking reminder of the lengths migrants go to to in an attempt to find a better life in Europe.

His father, a legal resident in Spain, had tried to smuggle the boy into Spain because his income was too low to request residency papers for his son.

The boy was eventually granted temporary permission to live in Spain with his parents.

Each year, thousands of migrants risk their lives trying to enter Europe via Ceuta and Melilla, which have the European Union's only land borders with Africa.

Many migrants try to scramble over the seven-metre fences that separate the Spanish cities from Morocco, while others try to swim or sail from shores on the Moroccan side.

Four migrants died on Sunday after trying to swim around a maritime fence separating Ceuta from Morocco.

Meanwhile, the European Union has offered funds and aid to help France cope with growing numbers of migrants near the northern city of Calais.

Almost every night for the past week, thousands of migrants have been trying to scale fences around the entrance to the Channel Tunnel near the city and board freight trains or trucks destined for Britain.

As the Calais migrants crisis continued to dominate the headlines, the British government promised new measures to crack down on illegal immigrants by making landlords evict them.

Landlords who do not remove people with no right to remain in Britain, or do not check their immigration status before renting them a property, could be jailed for up to five years.

The move, announced on Monday, is set to be included in a new immigration bill that parliament will debate in the coming months.

* Agence France-Presse with additional reporting by Associated Press