French police have arrested 15 people who were facilitating the illegal movement of immigrants from France to the United Kingdom.
The smugglers, mostly nationals of Romania, Pakistan and Vietnam, helped migrants cross the English Channel and reach the UK illegally. It is believed that each person will have to pay between 3,000 and 6,000 euros in order to be transported to the UK.
The leader of that investigation, which began in October 2020, said the smuggling group consists of criminals who carefully planned everything from the complicity of drivers to financial backers, TheSchengen.com reports.
According to data provided by the French authorities, the number of boats that attempted to cross the canal during 2021 has quadrupled compared to 2019. The number of boats that successfully crossed the canal in 2019 reached 173. During the same year, 130 migrant boats were intercepted.
In contrast, in 2021, more than 728 boats of migrants succeeded in crossing the canal, while another 820 boats were intercepted. This means that more than 18,000 people have arrived on UK shores this year alone.
The number of migrant boats that crossed the canal last year was also high. The numbers show that in 2020, 641 migrant boats crossed the canal and 575 were intercepted.
The British Home Secretary and the French Interior Minister had previously agreed that the two countries must find a solution to prevent the illegal crossing of the canal.
The parties came to the conclusion that a joint technical working group should meet in order to define a new technology.
“They agreed to accelerate the implementation of the commitments contained in the joint agreement concluded in July 2021 to fulfill their common determination to block 100 percent of the crossings and render this deadly route unworkable,” the joint statement read.
Moreover, earlier in October, the French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, called on the British government to fulfill its duty and pay the 63 million euros promised to prevent migrants from moving in illegally. The agreement signed by the two countries states that the UK authorities will pay this amount so that French border controls can prevent the flow of migrants from reaching British shores.
Darmanin noted that French authorities currently hold 75 per cent of the boats bound for the UK. However, if the UK pays its share, the authorities can seize 100 per cent of the boats
>> Frontex: Nearly 160,000 illegal border crossings were detected at the external borders of the European Union in 2021