A 42-year-old Iraqi living in Germany was sentenced on Friday January 21 to 18 months in prison by the Lille Criminal Court for having transported an inflatable boat and vests intended for migrants wishing to cross the Channel.
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The public prosecutor had requested three years in prison against this resident of Aix-la-Chapelle (western Germany), arrested at the Franco-Belgian border on December 17 from Cologne.
He was driving a car containing life jackets, an inflatable boat, a boat motor, air pumps and wooden planks to stiffen the boat.
lucrative underground economy”
The Lille public prosecutor considered that the defendant was "
the visible face
" of an "
extremely lucrative underground economy
" of smugglers, who "
exploit human misery for money
". The man would be a "
", according to his lawyer Me Dimitri Betremieux. He confessed to another trip between Cologne and the Opal Coast the day before his arrest to transport a boat and drop it off near the coast.
His phone was actually detected on the night of December 15 to 16 at different points on the French coast, where migrants then tried to set sail. According to him, this cook was approached two days earlier at his place of work. by "
a young Arab man
" offering him 500 euros per trip.
The defendant accepted because he had “
debts in Germany
” with the Treasury and claimed that he “
did not know what this material was going to be used for
He then “
ask forgiveness for his mistakes.
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He also appeared for "
", but was released. According to Me Betremieux, this second count “
did not hold legally
”. The lawyer also wanted us not to "
unleash against [his] client all the seriousness of the organization with which he was able to flirt from near or far
". The sentence finally pronounced, which Me Betremieux considers "
" and "
», is accompanied by a five-year ban on entry into French territory.
Eleven attempts to cross the Channel involved 339 migrants on the night of December 15 to 16 alone, according to the public prosecutor of Lille, only three weeks after the sinking of a boat that claimed the lives of 27 people off the coast. Calais.