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CRIME

British tourist found dead near French hotel

French police were investigating the death of a British tourist in France, whom they suspect may have been murdered, according to media reports. The man was found in a pool of blood with a large head wound.

British tourist found dead near French hotel
A British tourist was found dead outside a French hotel. Photo: AFP

A British tourist in his 50s was found dead on Sunday outside a hotel in east central France and now investigators think he may have been murdered.

The victim, whose name was not released, was discovered around 9am in the courtyard of a warehouse next his hotel in Dole with large wound on his head, Europe 1 radio reported.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the injury.

The victim was to spend the night in the hotel with his wife and a friend, but had gone out for unspecified reasons on Saturday evening and never returned. When he had not come back by the next morning his wife called police.

Police said the man was in Dole, which is a short distance from the Swiss and Italian borders, while returning to the United Kingdom after a stay in Italy.

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CRIME

French police bust cross-Channel people-smuggling ring

French police have busted a major people-smuggling ring that has been sending migrants to Britain in dinghies, with more than a dozen boats and 700 life jackets seized in a raid, French authorities said Thursday.

French police bust cross-Channel people-smuggling ring

The ring was run by Iraqi Kurdish migrants and had a logistics hub in Lille, a northern French city about 100 kilmetres (60 miles) from the northern Channel beaches around Calais that are used for crossings.

Three Iraqi men have been charged, along with three French suspects after their arrest on Monday.

Police discovered “a real factory supplying nautical equipment” in Lille, the head of French anti-migration agency Ocriest, Xavier Delrieu, told AFP.

In what was their biggest ever seizure of equipment, they found 13 inflatable boats, 14 outboard engines, 700 life jackets, 100 pumps and 700 litres of fuel, Delrieu said.

The group is suspected of having organised 80 Channel crossings over the summer, of which 50 succeeded, with the smugglers netting around €80,000 for each one.

The arrests came due to intelligence-sharing between authorities in Belgium, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, who are all trying to crack down on migrants crossing the Channel by boat.

The original tip-off came after a border guard control discovered a group of French youths carrying inflatables from Germany into the Netherlands.

More migrants have crossed the Channel to the UK from northern France so far this year than in the whole of 2021.

So far this year, more than 30,000 people have been detected crossing the Channel to the UK, fresh government figures showed Thursday. On Wednesday alone, the authorities detected another 667 people.

Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, has faced some criticism from other Conservatives and in right-wing media outlets for not pressing for more French action against the crossings when she met President Emmanuel Macron in New York on Tuesday.

Downing Street said the issue did not come up at their talks on the margins of the UN General Assembly, which instead focused on common ground including Ukraine and energy security.

The crossings are among a host of issues that have badly strained Franco-British relations in recent years.

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