Albanian criminals risk major tragedy in English Channel as crossings continue in windy conditions

Albanian criminal gangs are “risking a major tragedy” by pushing small boats into the English Channel in poor weather conditions, official sources have told GB News

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Despite windy conditions and choppy seas in the Channel on Monday, official figures from the Ministry of Defence reveal that 188 people crossed into UK waters in five small boats.

They were picked up by Border Force vessels and RNLI lifeboats and taken to the migrant processing centre at Dover harbour.

Official sources blamed Albanian criminal gangs for taking increasing risks with the weather.

In recent months, Albanian criminal gangs have taken over more of the people smuggling activities along the north west coast of France.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dungeness, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dungeness, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Ramsgate, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Ramsgate, Kent

One source told GB News the people smugglers are "risking a major tragedy by pushing boats out to sea in these conditions".

Today in the Channel, winds have been gusting up to 30mph, churning up waves and making conditions treacherous for smaller boats.

Three boats still managed to make the crossing, with several women and children on board.

The source said: “Albanian gangs in particular seem more willing to push the limits when it comes to putting these vessels into the water.”

He added: “It’s only a matter of time before we see another incident like the tragedy last November.”

A total of 27 people died in the Channel on 24 November last year after their inflatable dinghy capsized in French waters.

The source said the fact boats were still coming over today in bad weather is “shocking and very worrying".

GB News analysis of the figures show that 27,678 people have now arrived in more than 700 small boats since 1 January this year.

That number is less than a thousand away from the 28,526 who crossed in the whole of last year.