Three arrested after five people, including a child, die in Channel boat crossing tragedy

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences. Credit: PA

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences after five people, including a child, were killed as they tried to cross the Channel.

Two men from Sudan aged 19 and 22, and a third 22-year-old suspect from South Sudan are being questioned by investigators from The National Crime Agency over the tragedy.

They were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration and entering the UK illegally.

A dinghy carrying more than 100 people set off from Wimereux, France, at around 6am on Tuesday but got into difficulty.

Three men, a woman and a girl died, according to the French coastguard.

Some 49 people were rescued by French authorities but 58 others refused to leave the boat and continued their journey towards the UK, the coastguard said in a statement.

The 55 surviving boat passengers have already been interviewed and are expected to be spoken to further in the coming days.

Young children and babies were among those seen being taken ashore in Dover, Kent, while witnesses saw crews carrying someone on a stretcher from a lifeboat to an ambulance.


National Crime Agency deputy director of investigations, Craig Turner confirmed that three men had been arrested in connection with immigration offenses and would be questioned at a police station in Kent

Craig Turner, deputy director of investigations for the National Crime Agency, said: “This tragic incident once again demonstrates the threat to life posed by these crossings and bring into focus why it is so important to target the criminal gangs involved in organising them.

“We will do all we can with partners in the UK and France to secure evidence, identify those responsible for this event, and bring them to justice.”

“I can confirm that three men have been arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration and entering the UK illegally, as part of that investigation.

“The men, two Sudanese nationals aged 22 and 19, and a South Sudan national aged 22, were detained last night and this morning by ourselves and our partners in Immigration Enforcement, and they will now be questioned by investigators from the NCA at a police station in Kent."

Home Office figures show 402 people made the journey in seven boats that same day after an eight-day break in activity in the Channel, which suggests there was an average of around 57 people per boat.


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