What are they doing? France admits arrested traffickers may NOT be behind fatal crossing

Officers made a series of arrests in the hours after it emerged that 27 people died crossing the English Channel on Wednesday afternoon. France’s interior minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Wednesday night that four suspected people traffickers had been arrested by police.

A fifth person suspected of buying inflatable boats was detained on Thursday morning.

However, Lille prosecutor’s office now appears to have all but ruled out any possible connection between those arrested and the death of 27 migrants in the Channel.

The office said there was “no objective link” with its investigation into people trafficking by a criminal gang and the deaths, the Telegraph reports.

The Lille prosecutor confirmed 17 men, seven women and three children lost their life in the tragedy.

They include joint patrols to stop more boats from leaving French beaches, deploying more advanced technology and reciprocal maritime patrols in French and UK territorial waters.

The plan also wants to increase real-time intelligence-sharing between the two nations and the creation of a UK-EU returns agreement.

Mr Johnson said: “If those who reach this country were swiftly returned the incentive for people to put their lives in the hands of traffickers would be significantly reduced.

“This would be the single biggest step we could take together to reduce the draw to Northern France and break the business model of criminal gangs.

“I am confident that by taking these steps and building on our existing cooperation we can address illegal migration and prevent more families from experiencing the devastating loss we saw yesterday.”

Speaking earlier during a visit to Croatia, Mr Macron said he would be seeking more assistance from the UK Government.

He said: “We are going to ask for extra help from the British because all these men and these women don’t want to stay in France.

“We tell them they’re obviously able to do so, and there are centres in Calais and Dunkirk where they can go, but we’re going to reinforce in fact saving them at sea.”

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