Channel deaths: Ibrahima Bah, 19, charged after four migrants died in Channel boat tragedy

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Ibrahima Bah will appear in court next week

A teenager has been charged with facilitating attempted illegal entry to the UK after four people died when a migrant boat capsized in the Channel this week.

Ibrahima Bah, 19, of no fixed address, has been remanded in custody and will appear before Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Monday (19 December), KentPolice said. A major rescue operation off the Kent coast began at 2.16am on Wednesday (14 December) after reports of a boat in distress, with the Royal Navy, French navy, Coastguard, RNLI lifeboats, ambulance service and police involved.

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A total of 39 people were safely brought to shore, while four others were pronounced dead. The circumstances surrounding the deaths are being investigated by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, assisted by the National Crime Agency.

DOVER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Inflatable craft and boat engines used by migrants to cross the channel are stored in a Home Office facility on December 15, 2022 in Dover, England. Four people died, and 39 were rescued, after a packed boat with migrants sank in the English Channel yesterday. A search continues for four more people believed to be missing. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)DOVER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Inflatable craft and boat engines used by migrants to cross the channel are stored in a Home Office facility on December 15, 2022 in Dover, England. Four people died, and 39 were rescued, after a packed boat with migrants sank in the English Channel yesterday. A search continues for four more people believed to be missing. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
DOVER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Inflatable craft and boat engines used by migrants to cross the channel are stored in a Home Office facility on December 15, 2022 in Dover, England. Four people died, and 39 were rescued, after a packed boat with migrants sank in the English Channel yesterday. A search continues for four more people believed to be missing. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) | Getty Images

A man was arrested in connection with the incident on Friday, and on Sunday Kent Police said the Crown Prosecution Service authorised a charge against Bah of knowingly facilitating the attempted arrival in the UK of people he knew or had reasonable cause to believe were asylum seekers. Police are continuing to work to establish the identity of those who died and locate their next of kin.

More to follow.