The Mauritanian gendarmerie have over the weekend arrested several West African migrants including some Gambians and Senegalese in the port of the city of Nouadhibou, 470 kilometres north of the capital Nouakchott.
The migrants were reportedly travelling to Europe through the Canary Islands in Spain.
The migrants were found hiding under nets in a canoe.
The Mauritanian gendarmerie said their investigation revealed that the nine persons found onboard were to be transferred to another canoe in the high seas of the Atlantic to be transported to the Spanish islands.
They include Gambians, Senegalese and Malians.
The identities of the Gambian migrants have not been disclosed.
The arrested persons were handed over to the Mauritanian police, who are expected to organise their deportation through the land routes to their respective countries of origin.