UK and Turkey strike deal to tackle illegal migration smuggling gangs
The UK and Turkey strike a deal to tackle illegal migration by targeting people-smuggling gangs while Suella Braverman seeks a pact to make it easier to return the nation’s small boats migrants
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The UK and Turkey have agreed a deal to tackle illegal migration by targeting people-smuggling gangs while ministers are seeking a pact to make it easier to return the nation’s small boat migrants.
The pact, similar to one signed with Albania in December, would speed up the process of sending back Turkish nationals who come to Britain illegally via the Channel.
Turkey has been identified as a major hub for smuggling gangs and reports suggest many of the vessels used to cross the Channel are manufactured there.
The agreement will see a new operations centre set up in Turkey by the country’s national police, as well as faster exchange of customs data and other intelligence.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: ‘We must do everything we can to smash the people-smuggling gangs and stop the boats.
People thought to be asylum seekers boarding the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge at Portland Port in Dorset
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the UK’s partnership with Turkey ‘will enable our law enforcement agencies to work together on this international problem’
‘Our partnership with Turkey, a close friend and ally, will enable our law enforcement agencies to work together on this international problem and tackle the small boat supply chain.’
More National Crime Agency officers are set to be deployed to Turkey to target criminal gangs and ‘death-trap’ dinghy factories.
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Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said: ‘Illegal migration is a global challenge, and this new partnership with Turkey cements our two countries as foremost strategic partners, working together in the fight against organised immigration crime.
‘We will be intensively sharing intelligence, people and technology to disrupt and dismantle people-smuggling gangs and the manufacture and supply of materials which enable small boat crossings.’
Officials are said to be specifically targeting the network’s supply chains and will try to seize items such as engines and life jackets which are vital to their tactics.
A future returns agreement with Turkey could prove crucial amid rocketing numbers of Turkish nationals crossing the Channel by small boat.
Newly published Home Office data showed Turks were the second largest nationality among Channel migrants making the crossing last month, with 370 people.
In just four months – April to July – 1,359 Turkish nationals have arrived in Britain, compared with 1,076 in the previous 12 months.
The number of Turkish migrants coming by small boat has soared in the wake of February’s devastating earthquake which left more than 50,000 dead in the country.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said: ‘We will be intensively sharing intelligence, people and technology to disrupt and dismantle people-smuggling gangs’
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