People traffickers are advertising Channel crossing to Albanians on TikTok saying ‘the French won’t stop you’ – as ‘summer sale’ smuggling prices ‘are slashed by £1,500 per person down to just £3,500’
- Figures show Albanians now make up four in ten arrivals from northern France
- A total of 1,075 arrived in the UK aboard small boats in the six weeks to July 12
- Now multiple accounts have been found on TikTok selling Channel crossings
- The accounts come with advice on using the asylum system to then stay in UK
People traffickers are advertising English Channel crossings to Albanians on TikTok – posting videos from inside dinghies saying ‘the French won’t stop you’.
Leaked figures have shown that Albanians now make up four in ten arrivals from northern France, with 1,075 arriving in the UK aboard dinghies and small boats in the six weeks to July 12.
They made up 37.5 per cent of all migrants trafficked to the UK in small boats by gangs during the period – eclipsing all other nationalities including Afghans, Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians.
Social media adverts are now offering ‘bargain’ prices for crossings as low as £3,500 – down from £5,000, the Telegraph reports.
The ‘summer sale’ is said to be contributing to a rise in crossings.
And now multiple accounts have been discovered on TikTok selling Channel crossings and promising ‘safe passage’ – along with advice on using the asylum system.
One such smuggler told an undercover reporter for The Sun: ‘The French won’t stop you. On the contrary, they will escort you safely until you reach the UK water border.’
They were then told to contact a solicitor upon arrival in the UK who would help to concoct a ‘good story’.
One of the TikTok accounts posted a video offering safe passage from Calais, northern France, for £5,000
Another post on one of the accounts offers a Channel crossing from Dunkirk via a small boat or dinghy
Multiple accounts have been discovered on TikTok selling Channel crossings and promising ‘safe passage’
The accounts include footage taken from aboard dinghies and small boats making the dangerous crossing
Three accounts were found advertising the crossings, with one bragging about how the French let migrants through
The smuggler added: ‘I can give you a number of a solicitor I have used for my relatives. They have managed to secure documentation (permission to stay) for half the Albanians in London.’
He continued: ‘Three months ago one boy was kept in detention for a month, then he was freed by his solicitor.
‘All others I have talked to after they arrived were sent to hotels, then they disappeared. They went to their relatives.’
The man was speaking from the TikTok account @franc_gomone_angli1.
It comes as another 150 migrants including small children and a baby were picked up in Dover after being rescued from the English Channel on Monday – amid calls from MPs to restart the Rwanda plan as soon as possible.
Tory backbenchers have called on the next prime minister to act urgently.
Natalie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover, said: ‘It’s clear many Albanians coming to the UK in small boats are not fleeing from war or persecution – they are economic migrants.
‘This is blatant criminality and it underlines the urgency of getting on with Rwanda and similar schemes.’
One smuggler referred to himself as Gent and claimed to be the ‘god’ of people-smuggling when approached
Another advert targeted at Albanians for crossings across the English Channel amid calls for the Rwanda scheme to be ‘brought to fruition’
Tom Hunt, the Tory MP for Ipswich, said the ‘truly eye-opening’ figures ‘underline why it’s so critical that the Government gets on and introduces the Rwanda scheme’, adding: ‘We need to bring this farce to a close.
‘Legislation to bring the Rwanda scheme to fruition should be top of the ‘in tray’ when Parliament gets back after summer recess.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘No one should question this government’s determination to break the gangs’ business model.’
The reporter contacted three TikTok pages under the guise of a migrant seeking access to the UK.
One smuggler referred to himself as Gent and claimed to be the ‘god’ of people-smuggling.
He offered transport to the UK via a luxury yacht for £15,000 per person, while a second smuggler from Birmingham was selling seats in a dinghy for £8,000 for two people.
The @franc_gomone_angli1, which has posted videos from Crossing attempts, also said the Rwanda migrant policy has been ‘cancelled’ and the Government ‘will send you to a hotel’.
A statement from TikTok said: ‘This content has no place on TikTok. We don’t allow content that promotes people smuggling.
‘We work closely with UK law enforcement and industry partners to find and remove content of this nature, and participate in the joint action plan with the National Crime Agency to help combat immigration crime online.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel added: ‘Social media posts promoting illegal crossings are totally unacceptable.
‘We are looking at reforming the system we use to identify victims of modern slavery, so that we can support genuine victims while making sure that the system is not misused.’