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Female member of ‘Afghan people smuggling gang’ is charged with multiple counts of manslaughter

A gang of alleged Afghan people smugglers, including a woman suspected of multiple manslaughter, was detained today in connection with the deaths of 27 British migrants in the English Channel.

Prosecutors in France confirmed on Friday that the 10 suspects are linked to the horrific crime that took place last November.

There were only two survivors after an inflatable dinghy collapsed as it tried to reach the coast of England.

Investigators believe the woman, who cannot be named by name for legal reasons, had taken £2,500 each of all on board for their illegal crossing to the UK.

She has now been charged with multiple counts of “manslaughter, involuntary injury, endangering lives and aiding foreigners in staying illegally in France as part of a criminal gang,” according to an investigative source.

Nine others involved in the network – including some Pakistanis originally from Afghanistan and two French nationals – are also charged with a series of charges related to people smuggling.

“They were all part of an Afghan network set up after the Taliban regained power in their country last August,” the source said.

“They were responding to a huge illegal market in Afghans who wanted to get out of Afghanistan when the war was over and the Americans left.”

A photo of the flimsy and dangerous dinghy that sank off the coast of Calais in November 2021, killing 27 people, including seven women - one of whom was pregnant - and three children.  15 people have now been arrested in connection with this incident

A photo of the flimsy and dangerous dinghy that sank off the coast of Calais in November 2021, killing 27 people, including seven women – one of whom was pregnant – and three children. 15 people have now been arrested in connection with this incident

Many of the migrants who were on the inflatable dinghy last November were young men from Afghanistan (pictured)

Many of the migrants who were on the inflatable dinghy last November were young men from Afghanistan (pictured)

Nearly 13,000 migrants have crossed the Channel so far this year

Nearly 13,000 migrants have crossed the Channel so far this year

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Four Afghans were killed on the boat in the Channel, along with 16 Iraqi Kurds, three Ethiopians, a Somali, an Egyptian and a Vietnamese migrant.

All were victims of a scandal in which hundreds of small boats have crossed, apparently left both the French and British governments powerless to stop it.

Police arrested 15 people – two women and 13 men – in connection with the Afghan network on Monday morning during a coordinated raid across France.

Five have since been released without charge, while the rest remain in secure police stations in the Paris areas.

US troops left Afghanistan in August 2021, after a two-decade conflict against the Taliban and related terrorist groups.

Withdrawal led to a massive exodus of Afghans, many of them with close ties to the British military.

Many already have relatives in the UK and speak English, meaning they want to settle in Britain after applying for asylum.

This is driving many of them to cross the Channel after paying people smugglers to prey on the migrant camps that have sprung up along France’s northern coast.

French police made 15 arrests on Sunday and Monday, but five people were released without charge (photo French officers patrolling a beach near Calais)

French police made 15 arrests on Sunday and Monday, but five people were released without charge (photo French officers patrolling a beach near Calais)

A French lifeboat at sea was seen carrying the bodies of migrants recovered off the coast of Calais after the tragedy in which at least 27 migrants, including five women and a girl, drowned as they tried to cross the Channel

A French lifeboat at sea was seen carrying the bodies of migrants recovered off the coast of Calais after the tragedy in which at least 27 migrants, including five women and a girl, drowned as they tried to cross the Channel

Nearly 2,800 migrants have been intercepted crossing the Channel this month - more than the full 2020 figure

Nearly 2,800 migrants have been intercepted crossing the Channel this month – more than the full 2020 figure

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

French President Emmanuel Macron

Boris Johnson (left) told Emmanuel Macron (right) British boots are needed on the ground in France to prevent evil slave gangs ‘get away with murder’ after 27 migrants drowned in deadliest canal crossing ever

The next day, migrants were seen crossing the canal after 27 people had drowned the day before

The next day, migrants were seen crossing the canal after 27 people had drowned the day before

Only two people survived the disaster in November, which sparked tensions between the British and French governments.

President Emmanuel Macron vowed that France would not allow the Channel to become a ‘cemetery’.

France urged Britain to step up its efforts to crack down on people-smuggling gangs, with Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin saying: ‘We need intelligence. Requests from the French police are not always responded to.’

The reprimand followed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal to return all migrants and asylum seekers landing in England to France, a move that Paris rejected.

Following Britain’s departure from the European Union, it has no return treaty with France or the EU in general.

The spat added to a litany of post-Brexit squabbles between the two sides, including a dispute over fishing rights in the Channel, which at times threatened to turn into a full-blown trade war.

Despite a more conciliatory tone since then and promises of greater cooperation, the number of migrants seeking to cross the Channel from France to England has risen in the first half of this year, the French interior ministry said.

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