Syrian people smuggler charged in France

Syrian people smuggler charged in France

A 30-year-old Syrian national was arrested in France on December 17 for manslaughter and attempting to smuggle migrants, according to French newspaper Le Monde. 

The people smuggler felt the full force of the law as part of an ongoing inquiry into a shipwreck that took place in the English Channel, the world’s busiest shipping corridor. 

The Saint-Omer public prosecutor Mehdi Benbouzid said that the individual was charged with manslaughter after one migrant died on the way to the UK whilst on a small boat. 

The vessel departed Calais on the evening of December 14 and capsized off the nearby commune of Gravelines. As well as causing one death, two were missing, maritime authorities in France reported. 

READ: Row erupts in Germany over “illegal migration” from “safe countries”

Small boats have been high on the agenda for Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government, trailing significantly behind the opposition Labour Party in the polls as a General Election is expected to take place in May 2024. 

Rishi Sunak has delivered numerous speeches on a podium plastered with the phrase “stop the boats” and his government has for long now planned to send migrants crossing the channel, often on makeshift vessels, to Rwanda, a move criticised by human rights lawyers and opposition MPs. 

According to UK Home Office statistics, 28,000 have crossed the English Channel in 2023 in comparison to 46,000 in the whole of last year. 

Le Monde/ AFP


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