British officers have arrested a man as part of an investigation into the death of a woman who is believed to have perished while attempting to cross the English Channel in a small boat, the UK's National Crime Agency said on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Sudanese man was arrested for illegal entry and facilitating illegal immigration in the southern English port city of Dover. The man, who is in police custody, is suspected of piloting a boat that reached British waters on Tuesday.
The arrest came after authorities in Calais, northern France, discovered the body of a woman on a local beach on Tuesday.
The Pas-de-Calais regional administration said the woman, believed to be a 24-year-old Eritrean migrant, was found on a beach in the French town of Blériot-Plage after apparently falling from a boat attempting to cross the English Channel.
The UK's National Crime Agency said French authorities were investigating the death, with support from British police.
The two countries are working together "to identify those responsible for this tragic death", said Craig Turner, deputy director of the National Crime Agency.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative government has adopted an increasingly punitive approach to those who arrive in the UK to report a crime.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative government has adopted an increasingly punitive approach to people arriving by unauthorized means, such as unseaworthy small boats crossing the English Channel. More than 45,000 people arrived in Britain by boat from northern France in 2022, compared with 28,000 in 2021 and 8,500 in 2020.
Nearly 24,000 migrants have arrived on British shores in small boats since January.