Investigators from Lille track down a network of smugglers in the English Channel

fahnder have unearthed a smuggling network in Lille, northern France, which illegally crosses migrants across the English Channel is said to have organized to Great Britain. Seven suspects, who are said to have collected up to 80,000 euros per crossing, were arrested, the police said on Friday. In addition, 13 boats, 14 boat engines, 700 life jackets and 700 liters of fuel were seized from the Iraqi-Kurdish network.

The trigger for the investigation was a check at the German-Dutch border, during which several young Frenchmen were stopped with boats procured in Germany, the newspaper "Le Figaro" reported. When another delivery of boats from Germany was supposed to arrive at the warehouse in the French city, the investigators struck. Intermediate storage facilities for boats and other equipment have often been discovered in Germany in the logistics chain of the smugglers' gangs.

According to the police, a number of the gangs of smugglers have branched out to Germany. Unlike in France, cash purchases that leave no trace are not limited to a maximum amount in Germany. In northern France, buying boats also raises suspicions more quickly. A sporting goods manufacturer dropped kayaks from its stores on the Channel coast.

In order to stop the growing number of illegal crossings across the English Channel, British and French investigators have been working together with the police in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands for some time. According to British figures, more than 31,000 people have crossed the English Channel to England this year. On Thursday alone, 1,150 people, spread over 21 boats, made the crossing, according to the British Ministry of Defense. Many migrants also get into distress on their boats.

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