LONDON — An asylum-seeker who piloted an inflatable dingy that ripped apart while crossing the English Channel to the U.K., killing four passengers, was found guilty of manslaughter Monday.

Ibrahima Bah, from Senegal, was at the helm of an unseaworthy boat carrying at least 43 migrants from France to the U.K. on December 14, 2022.

Prosecutors said the inflatable dingy, which had no safety equipment such as flares or a radio, should not have had more than 20 people on board. Four migrants drowned when the boat took in water shortly after it left the French coast.

While most of the migrants paid thousands of euros (dollars) to smugglers for a spot on the boat, prosecutors believed that Bah did not pay for his journey because he piloted the vessel.

“He was aware that the boat was overcrowded, lacking in safety equipment and, as it took in water, that it was increasingly unseaworthy," prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said. “Despite these increasing and obvious problems, the defendant continued to head into U.K. waters."

A jury found Bah guilty of four counts of manslaughter and of facilitating illegal entry to the U.K.

A British fishing boat came across the sinking dingy and tried to rescue the passengers, with help from rescue workers. A total of 39 survivors were brought to shore in the southern English port of Dover.

Bah is expected to be sentenced on Friday.

Britain's Conservative government has made stopping migrants from making such dangerous journeys across the English Channel a top priority. More than 29,000 people made the perilous crossing in 2023, down from 42,000 the year before.

Officials have introduced harsher rules designed to deter asylum-seekers, including a controversial law to send some migrants on a one-way trip to Rwanda where their asylum claims will be processed.

Human rights groups call the plan inhumane and unworkable, and no one has yet been sent to Rwanda.

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