Spanish police have launched an investigation into an incident that saw 12 passengers flee a plane bound for Turkey that made an emergency landing in Mallorca. Authorities are trying to find out if the incident was staged.
Spanish authorities suspect they may have fallen victim to a cunning ploy devised by a group of would-be migrants trying to make their way into Spain. The country’s police have launched an investigation into a potential migration law violation after 23 passengers attempted to flee an Air Arabia flight en route from Morocco to Turkey while making an emergency landing on the Spanish island of Mallorca on Friday.
The plane was forced to land after one of the passengers on board apparently suffered what appeared to be a diabetic coma and sought medical attention. When he was rushed to the hospital, it was suddenly discovered that the man was quite alive and well.
Apparently other passengers took the opportunity to escape from the plane. A video circulating on social media, which has since been confirmed as authentic by the police, shows a dozen people rushing into the plane’s cabin and running across the tarmac.
MoroccoPassengers fleeing on board a Moroccan plane bound for Turkey, after having made an emergency landing in the city of “Palma” on the Spanish island of Mallorca, due to a health emergency that later proved to be false. pic.twitter.com/I3nXMNf4E8
– World news (@ ne23614114) November 6, 2021
Eleven passengers were stopped by the police. Another 12, including a person who accompanied the man pretending to be ill to the hospital, disappeared without a trace. The man, who faked his illness, was discharged from the hospital and was arrested on suspicion of “Promote immigration and violate Spanish immigration law”.
Police believed the entire incident was the result of “Improvisation and Opportunity” until they stumbled upon a Facebook ad recruiting people for a plan that was strikingly reminiscent of Friday’s incident.
The author of the post, which was later deleted, searched around 40 people for a “Floor” which also involved faking an illness to force a plane to land in an emergency to reach Spain. Under the plan, a person would also be in charge of “GPS management” to make sure the time was right. Meanwhile, others would start actively asking for the “Ill” person get help if a captain refuses to make an emergency landing.
The ad written in Arabic had more than 6,500 views before it was canceled, El Pais reported. Police continue to interrogate detained passengers, although they have not ascertained a “Obvious and identifiable” relationship between inmates so far, the media added.
The detainees will go to court on Monday, risking deportation to their home countries. The patrols of the Civil Guard and the State Police continue the search for the remaining 12 passengers, who are still on the run.
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