Nine of the 17 had already been detained, returned to the Tavira barracks and were handed over to the custody of the SEF borders and immigration Service.

One of the detained migrants has tested positive for Covid-19. Search teams have been reinforced to locate the remaining fugitives and Spanish authorities are also collaborating with Portugal’s PSP, GNR and SEF officers.

The fleeing migrants are part of a group of 28 Moroccan citizens who illegally landed on Deserta Island, in Faro, on 15 September.