A man was arrested in the UK on Tuesday (November 28th) as part of the investigation into the deaths of 27 migrants who were shipwrecked while crossing the English Channel on a rubber boat in November 2021, the agency said. of British crime, the NCA.
Aged 32, Harem Ahmed Abwbaker was arrested in the South West of England and “is suspected of being a member of an organized crime group who conspired to transport the migrants to the UK on a small boat”the NCA reported in a statement.
“ The individual detained today is believed to have played a key role in the manslaughter of those who died,” NCA Deputy Director Craig Turner added following the arrest, saying the British agency is working on the case. ” in close collaboration with [ses] French partners ».
The man will remain in custody before appearing on Wednesday. in Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where extradition proceedings will begin.”, adds the British agency. On the French side, ten alleged members of the network of smugglers at the origin of the sinking were indicted this summer.
An overwhelming investigation
In an investigation published on November 13, based on the elements of the ongoing judicial investigation, The world revealed that the passengers of this makeshift boat which sank on the night of November 23 to 24, 2021 off Calais had called the French authorities fifteen times to ask for their help, in vain. French rescuers waited for them to pass through English waters and no means of rescue were sent to them.
Twenty-seven migrants aged between 7 and 46 – sixteen Kurds from Iraq, one Kurd from Iran, four Afghans, three Ethiopians, one Somali, one Egyptian and one Vietnamese – died in the sinking as they attempted to reach Great Britain. Only two passengers, an Iraqi Kurd and a Sudanese, had been rescued.
The question of migrant crossings in the Channel has been the subject of great tension between Paris and London in recent years. The two countries signed an agreement in mid-November, which provides in particular for an envelope of 72.2 million euros that the British will have to pay in 2022-2023 to France to increase from 800 to 900 the number of police and gendarmes on the French beaches, from where the migrants depart.
More than 40,000 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the English Channel in small boats this year, a record.