An Afghan ‘migrant’ who boasted about illegally crossing the Channel in a dinghy then posted grinning photos of himself from Britain is a TikTok ‘influencer’ who wears flashy clothes and works in a popular French ski resort town, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.
DG Usama, who is originally from the Afghan capital Kabul, posted a series of clips to the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform this week which show him riding a small boat full of migrants before being rescued by an RNLI lifeboat and brought ashore to Dover.
A short video posted in the early hours of this morning then shows Usama posing for a photo next to a road in the UK as music plays over the top.
MailOnline can now reveal that Usama lives in Lyon in France and works as a shop assistant in nearby Annecy, which is just 22 miles from Geneva in Switzerland and whose picturesque mountainside location has earned it the nickname ‘the Pearl of the French Alps’.
Facebook photos from last winter show Usama posing on Lake Annecy, France’s third-biggest lake and one of the world’s leading locations for paragliding, with folded arms while wearing a scarf, flashy jeans and a jacket, and £100 Apple Airpod headphones.
As early as November last year, the Afghan ‘migrant’ was posting videos to his TikTok account from Annecy, including scenes from Lake Annecy as he poses with friends, his disbelief at watching snow fall, and short clips of other people skiing.
It appears that he embarked on his journey to Britain sometime in March and arrived in Paris in the middle of the month. Short clips to TikTok show Usama posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. He then appears to have made his way north to Calais, where he posted videos as he visited the major French port city and sat around a campfire with other people.
DG Usama is pictured posing for a selfie TikTok video from a boat packed with migrants crossing the Channel
Usama is pictured posing for a photo next to a road in the UK, in a short video posted to TikTok on April 21, 2022
Usama is pictured with folded arms posing for a photo while wearing flashy clothes and headphones in France in January
Usama lives in Lyon and works in Annecy. He appears to have left Lyon and gone to Paris in mid-March, before travelling to Calais in northern France and then crossing the Channel via dingy this week to Britain
Usama is pictured wearing a flashy jacket and holding a Rubix Cube at a fun fair in France in November 2021
Usama is pictured posing on Lake Annecy while wearing Airpod headphones in January 2022
Usama works in Annecy, which has been dubbed ‘the Pearl of the French Alps’ due to its picturesque location
Videos posted five days ago show Usama smiling as he sails across the Channel in a dinghy, before the small boat is intercepted by UK officials.
A short clip shows the migrants getting onboard the RNLI lifeboat, which will have taken them to Dover Marina in Kent. A new clip from today shows Usama posing for a photo in the road in the UK. MailOnline has contacted Usama for comment.
It comes as the UK’s former Border Force chief tells the Mail that he believes more than 100,000 Channel migrants will reach Britain this year.
Backing the Government’s asylum deal with Rwanda, former director general of UK Border Force Tony Smith said: ‘There comes a point where we need to get a grip of our border and stop the boats.
‘The numbers are going up, a fourfold increase already this year – 28,500 last year,’ Mr Smith told the Mail at an immigration event by think-tank Policy Exchange. ‘That’s going to be over 100,000 this year just by migrant boats alone.’
Mr Smith’s prediction would be nearly 12 times the level seen in 2020, 54 times that of 2019 and more than 300 times that in 2018. So far this year 6,693 migrants have reached the UK across the Channel – four times that seen by the same point last year.
There were 651 arrivals last Wednesday, a level not seen last year until the calm summer months. In January, it emerged that the Home Office had produced official papers warning that 65,000 migrants could cross this year. The number of crossings has since outstripped this.
Mr Smith praised the Rwanda scheme, which will see asylum seekers sent 4,000 miles to claim refugee status from the East African country.
He said: ‘I think it’s a bold attempt by the government to stop the boats. We have to stop the boats – people are drowning and people are going to drown.
Usama is pictured posing for a photo in France in February 2022
Usama’s account posted two videos, with one appearing to show an RNLI lifeboat arriving to rescue them
One of the videos, which was shared on TikTok four days ago and captioned ‘I am in UK’, shows Usama filming himself among dozens of young men while they are on board a dinghy
‘The problem the government has is the French won’t accept people back, nor will the EU, so the migrants know that simply by paying £5,000 and getting in a small boat, getting into the English territorial waters, they’re essentially in the UK.
‘So the Government is right to look at alternatives. We need to find countries that are prepared to take people.
‘If Rwanda is a safe country, which is offering them protection and a new life, if it means they don’t have to go back to the country they fear persecution from, then this is an alternative to having more and more people coming across the Channel and drowning.’
Another former top borders officer said the Rwanda agreement will short circuit the ‘classic’ asylum claim where someone claims to be facing religious persecution.
Glyn Williams, the former director general of the Home Office’s migration and borders group, said: ‘The classic claim at the moment is ‘I’m a Christian but I can’t pursue my Christian religion in Iran or Iraq’.
‘If Rwanda is, and I believe it is, a safe country, where someone who’s claiming they suffered discrimination, you can pursue it in Rwanda.
‘You will be given safe haven there. What’s wrong with that?’
A total of 28,526 migrants crossed the Channel in 2021 – significantly higher than the 8,410 who arrived in 2020.
Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration, Tom Pursglove MP, has said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.
‘Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws but they also impact on the UK taxpayer, risk lives and our ability to help refugees come to the UK via safe and legal routes.
‘Rightly, the British public has had enough.
‘Through our Nationality and Borders Bill, we’re cracking down on people smugglers and fixing the broken system by making it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introducing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for those who facilitate illegal entry into our country.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk