Friday 1 July 2022 02:03 PM Female member of 'Afghan people smuggling gang' is charged with multiple counts ... trends now
A gang of alleged Afghan people smugglers including a woman suspected of multiple counts of manslaughter was today being held in connection with the deaths of 27 UK-bound migrants in the English Channel.
There were only two survivors after an inflatable dinghy collapsed as it tried to reach the coast of England.
Investigators believe that the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had taken £2500 each from all on board for their illegal passage to the UK.
She has now been charged with multiple counts of 'manslaughter, involuntary wounding, putting lives in danger, and assisting foreigners in staying in France illegally as part of a criminal gang,' said an investigating source.
Nine others who were involved in the network – including some Pakistanis originally from Afghanistan and two French nationals – also face a range of charges in relation to people smuggling.
'All were part of an Afghan network which was set up after the Taliban regained power in their country last August,' said the source.
'They were responding to a huge illegal market in Afghans who wanted to get out of Afghanistan when the war ended, and the Americans left.'
A picture of the flimsy and dangerous dinghy that sank off 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 relation to this incident
Many of the migrants who were on the inflatable dinghy last November were young men from Afghanistan (pictured)
Almost 13,000 migrants have crossed the Channel so far this year
Four Afghans perished on the boat in the Channel, along with 16 Iraqi Kurds, three Ethiopians, one Somali, one Egyptian and one Vietnamese migrant.
All were victims of a scandal that has seen hundreds of small boats crossing, and apparently leaving both the French and British governments powerless to stop it.
Police arrested 15 people – two women and 13