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People Smugglers Find New Route Into Britain

From Sky News:

Migrants are avoiding tough new security measures in Calais by choosing quiet beaches in France to launch attempts to cross the Channel, Sky News has been told.

Local people say there is something strange happening on a stretch of coastline south of Calais.

From beach houses on the shore and fishing boats at sea, people have watched migrants dragging dinghies, then putting out to sea – and mysterious boats taking on passengers in the dead of night.

Desperate acts by desperate people who seem determined to get to the UK.

It has come as no surprise to the man who runs the volunteer coastguard in northern France.

Bernard Barron said: “Migrants have to be as discreet as possible, so they choose beaches that are as close as possible to England but far enough from the ferries so they can’t be spotted.

“This area is favoured by migrants and the smugglers – English ones and other nationalities – who come to pick them up.”

Until recently, migrants flocked to Calais to find a place to stow-away.

Some broke the locks on the back of trucks and scrambled inside – others clung to roofs and undercarriages of moving vehicles.

But brand new fencing and beefed-up security at the port and the Channel tunnel are making life much more difficult for migrants and refugees.

As the migrants’ options have shrunk, the dynamics of the crisis have changed.

It is thought that hundreds are now trying their luck at other ports like Cherbourg to the west and Ostend in Belgium.

What’s more, criminal gangs are moving in, offering ‘guaranteed delivery’ to Britain for sums as much as £12,000.

Still, the smugglers have to sort out the transport – and boat owners in northern France have found themselves targeted.

Sky News met a local businessmen called Olivier who said he has been approached on numerous occasions.

He said: “The smugglers talk to you nicely, asking us if we caught any fish. Then they get on to the main subject – can they hire the boat? Usually there is a group who stay further back, with bags, waiting for the signal to get on the boat.”

… read more at Sky News.

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