Arrest Made After Asylum Seeker Run Over Outside Illegal Calais Migrant Camp

Police ride a car as they watch migrants walking along the A25 motorway in the direction of Dunkirk, on September 21, 2017, near Steenvoorde, northern France. The sprawling 'Jungle' camp -- which at its height was home to 10,000 people -- was dismatled in late 2016, but hundreds of people …

A French man in his fifties was arrested earlier this week and has been charged with fleeing the scene of an accident after his vehicle hit a 22-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker near the Grande-Synthe migrant camp in Dunkirk, South-West of Calais.

The driver of the vehicle was arrested on Sunday evening and then formally charged on Wednesday while the 22-year-old asylum seeker remains in critical condition in hospital, Le Monde reports.

The accident occurred near the large migrant camp in Grand-Synthe which many see as a successor to the infamous Calais Jungle camp which was dismantled late last year.

The accident is not the first this year in the Dunkirk area as investigators noted that migrants often walk along the sides of the main motorways to try and find parked trucks to sneak in to get to the UK.

The driver claims the 22-year-old was crossing the motorway when the accident occurred but other witnesses say the driver was behaving erratically while the migrant was walking in the emergency lane.

The witnesses were also the ones able to record the licence plate of the vehicle involved which led to the arrest of the driver who had fled the scene.

The incident comes only days after an Afghan migrant was hit by a vehicle in Calais and killed. The migrant was found by the side of the road but police said they had not been able to identify the vehicle involved.

The Grand-Synthe camp, like the former Calais Jungle, has seen high levels of violence and drug-related activity. Earlier this year, the French government ordered the closure of the camp after a series of shootings and stabbings.

Former French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said the behaviour of the migrants was “unacceptable”.

In September, hundreds of migrants were removed from the makeshift camp and placed in formal care facilities while others simply left to either come back to the area later or travel to other makeshift camps that have emerged in various cities across France.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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