‘Thank You for Our Full Pockets’ – People-Smuggler Says Boris Govt Making Them Richer

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Criminal people-smugglers in Calais have gloated that the British government’s efforts to clamp down on illegal boat immigration have only served to further line their pockets with cash from desperate migrants.

Despite the British taxpayer forking out some £33.6 million on increasing border controls on the French side of the English Channel, the waves of boat migrants landing on British shores has only continued to increase, with as many as 25,000 projected to reach the United Kingdom this year.

Zoran, a Kurdish people-smuggler who operated in Dunkirk until last year, told The Guardian: “Smugglers know everything about security on the border, that is their job. So when security gets worse, smugglers just get cleverer and more powerful… Some were even working with the police. You could get away with anything if you worked with the police.”

He went to say that he left the vicious trade because “the violence is getting worse and worse because the mafias just get more powerful,” adding: “It became too much for me.”

Zoran says his job became ever more lucrative as security between England and Calais increased: “The bosses charged just a few hundred euros in 2014, but when I left it was four [or] five grand for the same lorry crossing.”

Another former trafficker said that the nearly £100 million spent by British taxpayers on increased security in the Calais area has only served to secure the dominance of the mafia gangs, which have largely overtaken the people-smuggling trade.

“Prices went up with each new bout of security spending,” he said. “A growing obstacle course on the border made crossing alone impossible for migrants. This attracted mafia groups who studied the controls and found ways around them, knowing what desperate people would pay for these ways.

“We thank your government for our full pockets,” he boasted.

It is estimated that there are approximately 100 separate people-smuggling gangs currently operating in France. Those migrants who are too destitute to pay off the mafia cartels which control the people-smuggling trade often are forced into pacts that see them serve as slave labourers once they reach Britain to pay back their debt.

According to a report from the Centre for Social Justice last July,  there were at least 100,000 people in Britain working in slave-like conditions, with an estimated 10,000 working in the textile industry in Leicester, alone.

One migrant, who is currently attempting to reach the United Kingdom by boat illegally and has been drafted by the mafia smugglers, said that his phone battery was drained because he was watching YouTube videos on how to assemble rubber dinghies properly.

“I want to join my brother for asylum in the UK, but I have to work for smugglers because I don’t have enough money to pay for the crossing,” he said.

“They hide boat parts on the beaches for me to assemble at night, but I’m so scared– – if I mess it up, children could drown on the boat.”

A Kurdish asylum seeker in Britain who paid smugglers £3,500 last year to reach the country by boat added: “It’s a kind of slavery. Poor refugees work as house servants for smugglers; women sell their bodies; others are made to be lookouts or drivers, and can then be arrested and thrown in jail… I think the security controls are only helping smugglers, not anyone else.”

In March, Home Secretary Priti Patel was reported to be considering introducing “life” sentences for convicted people-smugglers, including for low-level operatives.

The proposal came as a part of her plan to slow the tide of illegal migration to post-Brexit Britain, including blocking migrants who enter the country illegally from obtaining citizenship or from applying for ‘leave to remain’ status.

The government has so far failed to reach an agreement with the European Union or any individual EU member-state on the deportation of illegal migrants.

There has also been little appetite to simply send migrants back to France once they are adrift in British waters, despite similar efforts taken by Australia all but eliminating illegal boat migration.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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