Investigators have unearthed a smuggling network in France that is said to have smuggled migrants across the English Channel to England. The investigation began after the smugglers bought a boat in Germany.
Investigators have unearthed a smuggling network in Lille, northern France, which is said to have organized illegal crossings of migrants across the English Channel to Great Britain.
According to the police, seven suspects of an Iraqi-Kurdish human smuggling ring were arrested. In addition, 13 boats, 14 boat engines, 700 life jackets and 700 liters of fuel were secured. The smugglers are said to have demanded up to 80,000 euros per crossing.
Germany important for gang logistics
The trigger for the investigation was a check at the German-Dutch border. Several French were stopped and checked with boats procured in Germany, as the newspaper “Le Figaro” reported. When another delivery of boats from Germany was supposed to arrive later in the gang’s warehouse, the police would have struck.
According to the police, Germany is important for the logistics chains of many gangs. Temporary storage for boats and other equipment has often been discovered in this country.
Payments without a trace
Unlike in France, payments with cash that leave no trace are not limited to a maximum amount in Germany. Buying boats in northern France also raises suspicions more quickly than in Germany. That is why British and French investigators have been working more closely with the police in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands for some time.
More than 31,000 people have already crossed the English Channel to England this year. On Thursday alone, 1,150 people made the crossing on 21 boats, according to the British Ministry of Defense. Many migrants also get into distress on their boats.