A man wanted in connection with the deaths of at least 27 people who drowned attempting to cross the English Channel in a dinghy in November 2021 has been extradited to France to face trial.
National Crime Agency investigators tracked down 32-year-old Harem Ahmed Abwbaker to a hotel in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where he was arrested on 29 November last year.
He is alleged to be a significant member of the organised crime group who conspired to transport the migrants to the UK in a small boat.
The vessel sank after leaving the French coast, leading to the death of all but two of those aboard. Four people remain missing.
The NCA are working with the French authorities to investigate the circumstances which led to the deaths.
Abwbaker consented to extradition on 28 June and was taken back to France on Friday 7 July where he will now face manslaughter, human trafficking, and organised crime charges before the French courts. The CPS helped facilitate the extradition.
NCA Deputy Director Craig Turner said: “The NCA are working closely with our French partners to investigate this Channel dinghy tragedy. We remain determined to get justice for the families of those whose lives were lost.
“Tackling people smuggling remains a priority for us, and we continue to disrupt and dismantle the cruel organised criminal networks involved.”
10 July 2023