French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and his British counterpart Priti Patel announced on Sunday in Calais the establishment of a “Franco-British intelligence cell” in the fight against migrant smugglers.
Gérald Darmanin chose a symbolic place to announce a crucial stage in the fight against migrant smugglers. It is on the outskirts of the old “jungle” in Calais that the French interior minister held a press point announcing the establishment of a binational intelligence unit bringing together French and British investigators.
Gérald Darmanin and his British counterpart Priti Patel signed a congress on Sunday July 12 in Calais, creating a “Franco-British intelligence unit” in the fight against immigrant smugglers.
“For the first time, six British police officers since six French police officers in Coquelles will be able to work upstream against the smugglers,” he confirmed during his press conference.
The smugglers “are the ones who benefit from the human need of people who want to cross the channel and who, no doubt today, are not yet sufficiently punished,” he continued after his first visit to Calais as interior minister.
Together with his minister responsible for citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, he met there with his British counterpart, Priti Patel, and the Deputy Minister of Immigration, Chris Philip.
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This “pre-court” phase will be carried out “immediately”.
“We will help the people of Calaisis, the entire coast and police forces” to be in contact with our British friends to return to peace, “he said.
The agreement aims to “create a Franco-British intelligence unit. It will enable our respective services to operationally share the information they have, especially in smuggling networks,” Darmanin said on Twitter.
On Saturday, 21 migrants were rescued in three fighting boats in the English Channel while trying to reach Britain.
It is “important that our British friends realize” that if the migrants come here to Calais it is “to cross the English Channel and we reminded the Minister that we need additional funds, the British government has done a lot to protect the coast, but we need still more resources, both for equipment and for men, “said the Minister.
On Friday, state services and police deported more than 500 migrants from an industrial area in Calais and brought them to reception or administrative detention centers.