Irregular Migration to Europe: Some 366,000 Aborted Attempts over Past Five Years, 70,781 in 2022 – Interior Ministry

Over the past five years, Moroccan authorities have thwarted some 366,000 attempts to emigrate illegally to Europe. This number rose to 70,781 failed attempts in 2022 and 25,519 at the end of May 2023, according to data provided by the Interior Ministry. The data also show that rescue operations at sea have involved some 90,000 migrants over the past five years. In 2022, 12,478 migrants were rescued at sea, compared with 3,150 at the end of May 2023. With regard to the dismantling of criminal migrant smuggling networks, the same source notes that almost 290 criminal networks were dismantled in 2022, compared with 117 at the end of May 2023, bringing the total number of such networks dismantled over the last five years to around 1,500. With regard to the attempted assaults on Sebta and Melilia, which have been repulsed by the Moroccan authorities, Interior Ministry’s figures show that around one hundred attempts have been aborted over the last five years, involving some 17,500 assailants. In 2022 alone, 16 attempts were made to attack the fences at Sebta and Melilia, compared with just one attempt in the last five months of 2023, thanks to the reinforcement of measures to combat irregular migration, according to the same source.