Albanians crossing Channel because trafficking claim gives them better chance of staying, ex-Border Force chief claims
It comes after a leaked report said that almost 40 percent of migrants who crossed the Channel during a six-week period were Albanian
Albanian migrants are crossing the English Channel because saying they’ve been trafficked gives them a better chance of staying, a former Border Force chief has claimed.
Almost four in 10 migrants who crossed the Channel during a six-week period earlier this summer were Albanians, according to a leaked military intelligence report.
The report, in the Sunday Times, said that of the 2,863 migrants transported between June 1 and June 12, 1,075 of them were Albanian.
And Tony Smith, an ex-Border Force director general said Albanians are aware of the “loophole” that gives them a better chance of staying in the UK.
Mr Smith said: “The small boats are just another way of getting into the UK for the Albanians.
“They know they cannot get visas or get past the Border Force officers at Calais – but if they can get to the UK and log these claims of being trafficked, it is another loophole that is being exploited in the system.
“They know they cannot claim asylum, but they are using this ploy that they have been trafficked. It is another barrier to removal which means they cannot be instantly sent back to Albania,” he told the Telegraph.
His comments come just days after a GB News investigation found that human traffickers are advertising their services to take migrants across the Channel by boat on TikTok – charging as much as £5,500.
The investigation revealed dozens of Albanian accounts on the social media platform boast about successfully getting men, women and children from France to Britain.
One encouraged asylum seekers to send them a message via WhatsApp with a UK contact number posted.
Another showed off the dinghies illegal immigrants squeeze onto as they negotiate the 21-mile journey.
The clips included dates of crossings and footage of people leaving France and them getting into boats.