The supposedly all-important ‘soft’ border between the Republic of Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland is being exploited by dangerous criminals, gangsters, and illegal migrants, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
“The Common Travel Area (CTA) is open to exploitation by criminals, illegal immigrants and extremists who use the border to facilitate and enable criminality,” revealed the NCA — the British equivalent of America’s FBI — in its National Strategic Assessment of Serious Organised Crime for 2018.
“There is significant interaction between OCGs [Organised Crime Groups] operating on both sides of the border, working together across a number of types of organised crime including drug trafficking, excise fraud, human trafficking, environmental/waste crime, burglary, firearms purchases/movement, plant theft, agricultural crime, and money laundering,” the report reveals.
“Recent analysis identified that almost half of OCGs managed and investigated by [the Police Service of Northern Ireland (incorporating the Royal Ulster Constabulary), or PSNI] are known to have strong links and associations with OCGs based in the Republic of Ireland (ROI).”
The NCA assessment notes that the PSNI is current “sighted” on 83 organised gangs in total.
No Hard Border? Investigation Finds Illegal Migrants Using Northern Ireland as ‘Back Door’ to Britain https://t.co/h3vAXsgT9y
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 7, 2018
Abuse of the ‘soft border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland impacts mainland Britain as well as the Province, with the NCA noting that abuse of the Common Travel Area is “evident in Scotland at the ports of Loch Ryan and Cairnryan”, for example.
Perhaps most seriously, it admits that a number of “high harm foreign national offenders” have been detected attempting to re-enter Great Britain via Northern Ireland after being deported.
An investigation by the BBC previously revealed that the Irish border is regularly exploited by illegal migrants — whose intentions and criminal background is of course unknown — but keeping the border open nevertheless remains a key goal of the Brexit negotiations led by Remain-supporting prime minister Theresa May and her allies, even if it means sacrificing Britain’s freedom of action on regulation and international trade.