Muslim preachers who supplied boats to migrants are imprisoned for two years
The Muslim preacher who delivered boats to migrants crossing from France to Great Britain is imprisoned for two years
- The 39-year-old preacher is accused of organizing various crossings to England
- The preacher is of Iranian descent and received political asylum in France
- A Senegalese man  who visits the imam mosque in Rouen was also on trial
A French court sentenced an imam from Northern France to two years in prison on Monday for helping migrants try to cross the English Channel in inflatable boats.
The 39-year-old pastor, who is of Iranian descent and has been granted political asylum in France, is accused of organizing several crossings from Northern France to England since December last year.
A 29-year-old Senegalese man who attends the mosque in Rouen where the imam preaches was also on trial. He was sentenced to nine months in jail and was not allowed to visit the northern French region of Nord & Pas-de-Calais for three years.
The imam fainted when he heard his verdict.
In February this year, officials from the border forces bring migrants to Dover in Kent
The men admitted that they delivered six or seven dinghies in April after being taken into custody in April, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported Monday.
The investigation began in late March when gendarmes found life jackets, wet sweaters and a rubber boat on a beach in northern France.
None of the men were previously known to the police, Le Figaro said.
The police found two boats, three outboard motors and life jackets in the imam's house. The two men confessed to buying seven boats between December 2018 and April 2019.
The priest told the court that he went to a store in Deulemont, on the border with Belgium, to buy boats for a person he only identified as Kamal.
Both suspects said they only discovered later that the boats were being used by migrants for illegal channel crossings.
& # 39; When I heard that, I was thinking about the children on board and I told myself there could be deaths & # 39 ;, the Senegalese man told the court. The imam, for his part, said he was ashamed & # 39 ;.
According to figures from the French Ministry of the Interior, 276 people successfully reached the British coast last year with the help of inflatable boats like the one on the photo
Prosecutors said their statements & # 39; did not reflect reality & # 39; and that the imam was regularly in the areas where the boats were found.
For years, thousands of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia have tried to reach Great Britain from the French port of Calais, the vast majority by trying to store on trucks crossing the Channel.
But there has been a recent increase in the number of migrants trying to cross into boats despite the risk of strong currents, cold water and collisions in one of & # 39; the world's busiest shipping lanes.
In March, a French court threw two Iraqis and an Iranian man in jail for organizing illegal migrating boat trips across the Channel.
The British Immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, mentioned in December & # 39; very worrying & # 39; a peak in incidents, after dozens of people were rescued after sailing from France in an inflatable boat.
The figures from the French Ministry of the Interior show that 276 people successfully reached the British coast last year.
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