Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire man arrested in connection with deaths of 27 people attempting to cross the Channel

A man has been arrested in Gloucestershire in connection with the deaths of at least 27 people who drowned attempting to cross the English Channel in a dinghy last November.

National Crime Agency investigators, alongside officers from the National Extradition Unit, arrested 32-year-old Harem Ahmed Abwbaker at an address in the Cheltenham area at around 6.45 on Tuesday morning (November 29).

Abwbaker was identified and tracked down by the NCA, who have been working with the French authorities to investigate the circumstances which led to the deaths.

He is alleged to be a 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.

Following his arrest, Abwbaker will remain in custody to appear before Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday (November 30), where extradition proceedings will commence.

Craig Turner, deputy director of the National Crime Agency said: "This is a significant arrest, and comes as part of extensive inquiries into the events leading to these tragic deaths in the Channel.

"The individual detained today is suspected of having played a key role in the manslaughter of those who died.

"Working closely with our French partners, we are determined to do all we can to get justice for the families of those whose lives were lost and disrupt and dismantle the cruel organised criminal networks involved in people smuggling."

Home Secretary Suella Braverman added: "My thoughts continue to be with the families of all of those who tragically lost their lives in this horrendous incident.

"I thank the NCA and other agencies across the UK and France for their tireless work to deliver justice for the victims and their families by identifying those we believe to be responsible and ensuring they feel the full force of the law."

Related Articles

Walkout Wednesday: Businesses and families hit by strikes Image

Walkout Wednesday: Businesses and families hit by strikes

Up to half a million workers are walking out today in the biggest day of strikes for years.

BBC staff to hold ballot over local radio cutbacks Image

BBC staff to hold ballot over local radio cutbacks

BBC journalists are to vote on industrial action in a dispute over planned changes to local radio programming.

Business confidence in South West in positive territory Image

Business confidence in South West in positive territory

A monthly Business Barometer in the South West has provided 'grounds for optimism'.

Fly-tipping figures ‘fail to reflect full scale of crime’  Image

Fly-tipping figures ‘fail to reflect full scale of crime’

The number of fly-tipping incidents across nine regions in the South West has soared in the past year, according to the latest figures.

Copyright 2023 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.