French police have busted a people-smuggling gang which had been using small boats to take illegal immigrants across the English Channel to the UK.
The gang, based in Lille and run by Iraqi Kurds, was detected thanks to intelligence sharing between authorities in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK, police said on Sept. 22.
Three Iraqi men and three French suspects were arrested on Sept. 19 and were subsequently charged, according to French news agency AFP.
Police found 13 inflatable boats, 14 outboard engines, 700 life jackets, 100 pumps, and 700 litres of fuel, according to Xavier Delrieu, head of French anti-illegal immigration agency Ocriest.
The ring is suspected of being behind 80 illegal crossings of the English Channel over the summer, of which 50 were successful. The human smugglers could earn around 80,000 euros ($78,000) for each successful trip….
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