People smugglers are offering a bargain £435 ‘Christmas deal’ to ferry migrants across the English Channel
People smugglers are offering to ferry migrants across the English Channel in dangerously overcrowded boats for less than £500 as a bargain Christmas deal.
Kurdish gangsters are believed to be offering the lowest price ever charged for illegal boat entry into the UK just days after a sinking rubber dinghy left four dead and 39 survivors, including 12 children, dead were drawn in ice-cold water.
Lucy Halliday, of charity Care4Calais, told the Mirror some migrants are paying as little as €500 (£435) to make the treacherous crossing.
She said: “The smugglers take what they can to fill the boats and the lower the price the more they try to get on board. We know they are crowded.”
People smugglers are offering to ferry migrants across the English Channel in dangerously overcrowded boats for less than £500 as a bargain Christmas deal. Pictured: Migrants carrying a smugglers’ boat as they prepare to cross the English Channel in October
Ms Halliday accused the UK government of having “blood on their hands”, adding: “Migrants died because of the government’s hostile attitude. Instead of spending £5million on hotels, the Home Office should spend it on clearing the asylum backlog. These are traumatized people who are being denied their human rights.”
The comments come just four days after a dramatic rescue operation in the English Channel saw 43 asylum seekers snatched from freezing water after their inflatable boat sank in the early hours of Wednesday.
Kurdish gangsters are believed to be offering the lowest price ever charged for illegal boat entry into the UK just days after a sinking rubber dinghy left four dead and 39 survivors, including 12 children, dead ice-cold water (picture).
An 11-year-old Afghan boy was among the “screaming” migrants who were taken to safety by the crew of the fishing boat Arcturus, which was among the first vessels to arrive at the harrowing scene – described by the captain as “something from a second world” described war film’.
An investigation into the tragedy by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, supported by the National Crime Agency, is underway. The crossing was allegedly orchestrated by a trafficker in France who charged each migrant £5,000.
An Afghan refugee has revealed that he nearly capsized the dinghy but was stopped by Kurdish smugglers because it was overcrowded.
The 27-year-old, who claims to have been a military doctor in his homeland, said he and dozens of others made a 10-hour journey on foot to get to a remote beach to make the crossing.
“I’m glad I wasn’t on the boat. But I’ll try again,’ he said. “I can’t go back to Afghanistan because of the Taliban, I’ll try to work as a doctor in England.”
Border Force said they also rescued another 50 people, five of whom ended up in the water after their boat began to sink that same night.
Hundreds of migrants crossed the English Channel yesterday, in the first change in weather since Wednesday’s tragedy.
Migrants on board the dinghy told fishermen they had paid people smugglers £5,000 each to travel from France to the UK
A Kent Police spokesman said the circumstances of the deaths were being investigated by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, backed by the National Crime Agency
The first arrived in Dover at 3.15am on the Border Force boat Defender, which had taken on about 60 migrants.
Two other lifeboats carrying about 45 and 50 migrants arrived before 7am.
It is believed that up to ten fully loaded boats arrived.
On one boat, the migrants were not even given life jackets.
A group of up to 12 people, including two 15-year-old boys, arrived on English soil after being picked up by the RNLI in the English Channel on Saturday.
The group arrived at Dungeness after being met by the Dungeness Lifeboat as they made the crossing in extremely choppy waters.
More than 45,000 migrants have made the perilous journey across the English Channel so far this year – compared to 28,526 in 2021.
A group of up to 12 people have been safely brought ashore by the RNLI after being sent into troubled waters by criminal trafficking gangs
Two 15-year-old boys were among the small group rescued on Saturday
Earlier this week Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced more funding for the NCA – the British version of the FBI – to fight organized immigrant crime in Europe.
NCA Director General Graeme Biggar said of the tragedy on Wednesday: “This incident tragically underscores the dangers of these crossings, a high percentage of which are facilitated by organized criminal networks.
“They treat people as a commodity to be profited from and don’t think about putting them in incredibly dangerous situations. Working with our partners on both sides of the Channel, we are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.’
The NCA is also involved in the French inquiry into the deaths of at least 27 migrants in the English Channel last year.
Meanwhile, a senior retired army officer is set to head the government’s new unit, which will be launched next year to crack down on Channel crossings.
Maj. Gen. Duncan Capps, a former head of the Army Training College at Sandhurst, will take over the role as secret channel threat commander from Daniel O’Mahoney, who is reportedly stepping down after two and a half years.
Regarded by officials as a highly experienced leader, Mr Capps, who is retiring as an army officer this month, will lead the “Small Boat Operations Command” which the Prime Minister unveiled earlier this week as part of a series of new measures in a try that to tackle the refugee crisis.
Migrants apprehended at sea trying to cross the English Channel are brought ashore in Dungeness by an RNLI lifeboat on December 9
Earlier this week Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured) announced more funding for the NCA – the British version of the FBI – to fight organized immigrant crime in Europe
The “permanent, unified” entity will bring together military and civilian personnel alongside the National Crime Agency (NCA) to coordinate “intelligence, interception, processing and enforcement,” Rishi Sunak told MPs.
The move means control of the operation will return to the Home Office in late January, after then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson tasked the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in April.
But officials – who wish to stress that the postponement will mark a fundamentally different approach to combating crossings – anticipate some military support will still be needed.
About 730 additional Border Force personnel will be hired to work under the command, although some may be seconded from entities such as the Department of Defense and the NCA.
Around 100 of these will work at London headquarters – split between the Home Office and the NCA – while the rest will be front-line staff, mainly based in Dover but also at Manston in Kent.
However, due to the time taken by the recruitment process and training, it can take up to a year for teams to be in office.
MailOnline has asked the Interior Ministry for comment.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11550985/People-smugglers-offering-435-cut-price-Christmas-deal-ferry-migrants-Channel.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 People smugglers are offering a bargain £435 ‘Christmas deal’ to ferry migrants across the English Channel