"The Times": Bulgaria to help Rishi Sunak stop Illegal Immigration

Bulgaria will help Rishi Sunak to stop illegal immigration - under this headline, the newspaper "Times" informs about a new cooperation being prepared between London and Sofia to combat with human traffickers.

Britain is targeting Bulgaria and Turkey in its efforts to tackle the small boat crisis across the English Channel, with Rishi Sunak set to urge European leaders in Moldova to make illegal immigration their top priority at a meeting of the European political community, The Times reports.

More than 1,000,000 Syrian and Afghan refugees are considering leaving Turkey this year following February's earthquake and resumption of deportations to Afghanistan, according to the Interior Ministry. Most of them are expected to try to travel to Western Europe, including Britain.

The Border Force has also received evidence that Turkey has become a major hub for the production of boats used by human traffickers transporting migrants across the Channel, the Times reports. Until now, these boats were mainly manufactured in China.

Sunak will announce in Chisinau a new partnership with Bulgaria to strengthen the exchange of intelligence between the National Crime Agency and the Bulgarian police on organized crime groups that smuggle boat equipment and people across the border.

The newspaper notes that Bulgaria has become a key entry point into the EU for both gangs bringing boats and engines from Turkey, as well as migrants, following the crackdown on the Aegean crossing into Greece. Downing Street said that the new agreement will help Bulgaria "destroy the business model" of criminals.

The Times reports that Bulgarian border police have prevented 11,000 illegal entries across the border with Turkey since January, which is 40%...

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