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European police target networks trafficking migrants to UK

PARIS (AP) — Police within the U.Okay. and different European nations carried out a joint operation Tuesday focusing on folks suspected of smuggling migrants to Britain on small boats.

Britain’s Nationwide Crime Company mentioned six folks had been arrested within the Docklands and Catford areas of London, and that dozens of raids additionally befell in Germany, France and the Netherlands.

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In an announcement, the company mentioned the operation focused “legal networks suspected of utilizing small boats to smuggle hundreds of individuals into the U.Okay.” French judicial authorities mentioned the operation focused a “main organized crime group” that allegedly facilitated people-smuggling throughout the English Channel from France to Britain.

Police within the German metropolis of Osnabrueck mentioned 18 folks had been arrested in northwestern and southwestern Germany on suspicion of involvement in organized smuggling of foreigners. They mentioned greater than 900 law enforcement officials carried out 36 searches in Germany, and that comparable operations befell in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain.

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European justice company Eurojust deliberate to carry a information convention in regards to the operation in The Hague on Wednesday.

Hundreds of individuals hoping to enter the U.Okay. attempt to cross the English Channel, one of many world’s busiest delivery lanes, in dinghies and different fragile craft yearly.

Greater than 28,000 migrants reached Britain by means of the Channel final yr, up from 8,500 in 2020. Dozens have died whereas making an attempt the crossing, together with 27 folks from a packed boat that capsized in November.

Migrants have lengthy used northern France as a launching level to succeed in Britain, a vacation spot favored by many for causes of language or household ties, or due to Britain’s perceived open economic system.

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The British and French governments have labored for years to cease the journeys, with out a lot success, and have bickered over who’s answerable for the failure.

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Observe all AP tales on world migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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