Authorities in France and the Netherlands have arrested 23 people suspected of involvement in large-scale people smuggling. They are believed to have smuggled 10,000 Kurdish migrants into the UK from France.
French authorities began investigating the network in 2018. The European justice agency, Eurojust, said people-smugglers picked migrants up from parking areas between Le Mans and Poitiers.
The migrants were smuggled into the UK in refrigerated trucks and small rubber boats.
Eurojust said they paid up to 7,000 euros per person for the journey. The people smuggling network’s total profits were €70 million.
During the investigations, a link was discovered to a person running a hawala banking system in the Netherlands, which was partly used to fund the migrants’ transport, Eurojust said in a statement.