Northern French towns limit fuel sales in bid to stop migrant Channel crossings

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Northern French towns limit fuel sales in bid to stop migrant Channel crossings
Migrants sit onboard a boat navigating in agitated waters between Sangatte and Cap Blanc-Nez (Cape White Nose), in the English Channel off the coast of northern France, as they attempt to cross the maritime borders between France and the United Kingdom on August 27, 2020. - The number of migrants crossing the English Channel -- which is 33,8 km (21 miles) at the closest point in the Straits of Dover -- in small inflatable boats has spiralled over the summer of the 2020. According to authorities in northern France some 6,200 migrants have attempted the crossing between January 1 and August 31, 2020, compared with 2,294 migrants for the whole of 2019. (Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP)

Towns along France's northern coast on Thursday limited takeaway sales of fuel to 10 litres per customer to curb illegal migration across the Channel, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.


"Buying or selling more than 10 litres of fuel - petrol or diesel - in hand-carried containers is prohibited," the order issued Thursday said, according to La Voix du Nord daily. There is an exception for those who require fuel for professional reasons.

The prefecture for the Pas-de-Calais department said the measure was necessary given a "growing presence" of migrants seeking to cross illegally to Britain.


The decree noted that petrol-fuelled outboard motors were "one of the main ways" of making the perilous voyage.

READ ALSO UK government to give France €62 million to tackle illegal Channel crossings

Since January 1st, authorities have recorded more than 700 attempted or successful crossings, the decree said, arguing for "all useful steps to dissuade and obstruct the organisation of such illegal and dangerous crossings".

The measure, valid for two months, calls for a fine of €135 euros, which could rise to €3,700 for multiple offenders.

On Monday, British authorities recorded a new record of 430 migrant arrivals.

The BBC has reported that nearly 8,000 people aboard some 345 boats have reached British shores so far this year.


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