a network of smugglers into Britain before French justice

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Five members of a network of smugglers to the United Kingdom, after allowing the passage of hundreds of migrants, have been sentenced in France by the criminal court in Boulogne-sur-Mer, near Calais, to sentences ranging from 18 months suspended to two. years in prison.

Three men and two women aged 20 to 29, four French and one Iraqi, were part of this chain of smugglers. One of the defendants, a Frenchman, admitted to having played an important role.

The investigation began last January on the basis of Dutch information on the routing of small boats from Germany and transit through the Netherlands, AFP reports. It was in Germany that one of the defendants went to collect the boats, which he then brought back to Northern France. The boats were stored in a shed in Lille before being transported to the coast.

In total, 13 boats, each capable of carrying 50 migrants, were seized by investigators, along with engines, life jackets and fuel. It would even be the largest seizure of nautical equipment ever made in France, according to the central office for the suppression of irregular immigration.

The network would have allowed 1,547 attempted or successful passages, favoring the crossing of at least 2,600 migrants “, from the northern coast of France to the English shores, emphasized the prosecutor.

also read : new record for illegal canal crossings in one day

At the end of October, six members of an Iraqi-Kurdish network of migrant smugglers to Britain were arrested in northern France. The investigation, which was opened at the end of July, this time started from a ” British intelligence service “to identify” delivery of nautical equipment from Turkey to a warehouse in Douai (north), according to an official from Ocriest, the central office specializing in the fight against irregular immigration.

Illegal crossings between the French and English coasts have increased significantly in recent years since access to the French port of Calais and the Channel Tunnel were blocked by law enforcement.

Also read: migrants are taking more and more risks to cross the English Channel

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