National & International

Man arrested over 27 dinghy deaths among Channel migrants

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According to the BBC.

At least 27 people drowned trying to cross the English Channel in a dinghy last year. A man has been arrested in connection with their deaths.

Earlier this week, Harem Ahmed Abwbaker, 32, was arrested in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, according to the National Crime Agency, Last November, he was accused of conspiring with a group to transport migrants to the UK.

He will appear in court in London in connection with his extradition to France for manslaughter.

This is one of the worst incidents involving migrants in the Channel since 24 November 2021.

After leaving the French coast, the small craft sank, killing all but two of those onboard. According to French prosecutors, 17 men, seven women, and three children died.

Four people remain missing, the NCA said.

At the time, then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the deaths as a “disaster”.

Mr Abwbaker, who will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, also faces French charges of facilitating illegal immigration.

NCA deputy director Craig Turner described the arrest as “significant”.

He said: “The individual detained today is suspected of having played a key role in the manslaughter of those who died.

“Working closely with our French partners we are determined to do all we can to get justice for the families of those whose lives were lost, and disrupt and dismantle the cruel organised criminal networks involved in people smuggling.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “My thoughts continue to be with the families of all of those who tragically lost their lives in this horrendous incident.

“I thank the NCA and other agencies across the UK and France for their tireless work to deliver justice for the victims and their families by identifying those we believe to be responsible and ensuring they feel the full force of the law.”


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