People Smugglers Using Poor Migrants as Decoys to Give ‘Cash-Rich’ Illegals a Better Chance: Report

Migrants talk as they stand in front of their makeshift tents set up at the camp in Calais, northern France, on November 15, 2019. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)
FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images

People smuggling gangs in France are reportedly using poorer migrants as decoys to distract border patrol operations from catching migrants who pay “premium” prices to reach the United Kingdom.

A clandestine operation being carried out by Britain’s equivalent to the FBI, the National Crime Agency (NCA), alongside their French counterparts, in which officers pose as smugglers, is reported to have infiltrated the people smuggling trade in France.

A source close to the undercover investigation told the London Times that the human traffickers are using cheap and often defective smaller boats full of poorer migrants as decoys for more expensive boats, which are full of “cash-rich” migrants willing to pay more to the human traffickers.

On days with good weather conditions, the smugglers will launch all the boats simultaneously, often forcing French patrols to come to the rescue of the cheaper boats as they break down closer to shore, thereby diverting attention away from the more expensive boats.

“You get graduations of packages that are offered by the traffickers — you’ll get your criminal equivalent of business class. Then they’ll use people with less money as decoys when they do the big surges so they get some boats through regardless,” the source told the paper.

“So they might put 35 boats out from a range of 150 miles across northern France, and some of them will be with top-end engines and dinghies and some will be ones that break down as soon as they leave the shore. And so the authorities will be diverted to the ones that have broken down after leaving the shore, but they [the criminals] will still get 15, 20 boats through,” the source added.

The cheapest options being offered by the gangs in France cost between £200 and £500, depending on the number of migrants and the current supply of cheap rubber dinghies. The more “high end” services offered to migrants run as much as £5,000 for a “top-end” boat.

“There has been more of a focus on how you trace the suppliers of the vessels on the French side. There’s a lucrative trade in northern France in supplying these boats that are only being used for a single purpose: people trafficking. They are often legal trades but are being sold in the full knowledge that they are being used for illegal purposes,” a source said.

“The police are looking at how they can infiltrate those networks and try to break up those supply chains — that is just one other way to make things a bit more difficult for the people traffickers and make it a less attractive option,” the insider added.

The National Crime Agency is believed to have some 150 undercover officers placed in international human trafficking networks in order to disrupt the vicious trade.

In December, Breitbart London reported that there are believed to be approximately 100 separate people-smuggling gangs operating in France. Migrants who are too poor to afford to pay the human traffickers upfront are said to sign ‘pacts’ with human trafficking networks to serve as slave labourers once they reach Britain to pay off the cost of the journey.

The extent of the modern slave trade in the UK was exposed by a report from the Centre for Social Justice in July of last year, which estimated that there are some 100,000 people working as slave labourers, with an estimated 10,000 working in the textile industry in Leicester.

A Home Office spokesman said: “People smugglers are putting lives at risk by facilitating these dangerous journeys. We are working closely with our partners in France to stop migrants leaving French beaches, and attempted crossings involving more than 100 people were stopped overnight and this morning.

“The government’s new plan for immigration will break the business model of people smugglers and overhaul the broken asylum system.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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