With weather conditions worsening, criminal people-smuggling gangs are offering to help illegal migrants reach the UK for as little as £112.
Supposedly, “guaranteed” journeys are substantially more expensive, running at around £6,900 reports the Daily Express. Migrants infiltrating the UK by sea can pay even more, with a group of Albanians picked up by the Coastguard reported to have paid around £8,000 per head.
Border security experts have recently raised concerns that Britain’s small ports and harbours are wide open to Islamic State and other terrorist outfits, with a judge having branded the country’s small airfields “defenceless” as well.
Islamic State, in particular, has amassed a vast store of wealth, partially from its own role in the people-smuggling trade, and is, therefore, more than capable of taking advantage of even the most high-expense, low-risk methods of entry.
“The method of illegal entry most frequently chosen continues to be HGVs [Heavy Goods Vehicles]” according to Tom Dowdall, Deputy Director of the National Crime Agency (NCA). “We are particularly alive to this following the closure of the Calais migrant camp.”
Migrants have attacked truckers and ordinary motorists in and around Calais with rocks, baseball bats, petrol bombs and even chainsaws in bids to block roads and board lorries, but some choose to pay people smugglers for transit instead.
The NCA estimates that migrants from Iraq, where large swathes of territory are controlled by Islamic State, can pay around £4,300 over the course of a journey to the UK via mainland Europe and Turkey.
The Member of Parliament for Dover, which lies just twenty miles away from Calais, described the smugglers as “organised and violent criminals who will stop at nothing to further their evil trade of modern slavery”.
In addition to the increased terror risk, the people trafficking industry has seen a form of modern-day slavery return to Britain, with women held in makeshift brothels and children used as forced labour.