10 arrested by French police after migrant boat sinks in English Channel


Ten people suspected of being involved in the drowning of 27 migrants in the English Channel near Calais have been taken into custody, a judicial source said on Thursday.

Channel crossing incidents by migrants

© Wire PA
Channel crossing incidents by migrants

One was charged with manslaughter and human trafficking, and the other nine were to be brought before a judge who will decide whether to charge them as well, the source told French media.

The fatal sinking of a flimsy, overcrowded dinghy in November 2021 was the English Chancel’s worst accident since 2018.

Among the 27 – aged between 7 and 47 – were 16 Iraqi Kurds, four Afghans, three Ethiopians, one Somali, one Egyptian and one Vietnamese.

Migrants who boarded there hoping to reach Britain had paid the equivalent of £6,000. Very few of them were wearing life jackets and most would have succumbed to hypothermia in the water.

The arrests come after it was revealed that more than 12,300 migrants have risked their lives to reach Britain in small boats crossing the English Channel so far this year – at least double the number from the same period of 2021.

Recent crossings bring the total number of people reaching the UK so far this year to 12,312, up from 5,654 at this point in 2021 and 2,449 in 2020.

The figures highlight the government’s failure to stop dangerous Channel crossings despite a key Brexit campaign pledge to regain control of the UK’s borders.

Sign up now for one of the Evening Standard newsletters. From a daily press briefing to home and property information, lifestyle, outings, deals and more. For the best stories in your inbox, click here.


Comments are closed.