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TikTok ‘summer sale’ for migrants: Smuggler gangs launch ‘closing down sale’ and target Albanians

People traffickers have launched a £1,500-a-person ‘summer sale’ to cross the Channel illegally in a dinghy – mainly aimed at Albanians exploiting a loophole in UK anti-slavery laws – and advertised on TikTok with the promise: ‘The French won’t stop you – they will escort you safely until you reach the UK’.

Amid continuing calm waters and warm temperatures, ‘never been cheaper’ prices are being offered on social media with experts finding that at least a third of the 3,000 migrants who crossed from France in the past six weeks used one of the offers.

MPs have demanded that ministers redouble their efforts to deport migrants to Rwanda following a surge in Albanians using small boats to enter Britain, lured in with cut prices and the promise: ‘Hurry Albanians … England is waiting.’ 

The price of crossing the Channel appears to have dropped from close to £20,000 to between £5,000 and £3,500 per person. In some cases it has been as low as £1,500 to fill inflatable boats landing on the Kent coast. 

One advert said: ‘Don’t pay £17,800-£18,000. They are passing by every day, it has never been cheaper’, another shows a group in a dinghy grinning while holding the Albanian flag and promising safe passage to the UK for £5,000.

Albanians are understood to be using a loophole in UK anti-slavery laws by claiming that they are the victims of trafficking to Britain for forced work. It is said to help them claim asylum despite their home country not suffering civil war in 1997.

Multiple accounts have been discovered on TikTok selling Channel crossings and promising ‘safe passage’

One of the TikTok accounts posted a video offering safe passage from Calais, northern France, for £5,000

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 - and urging people interested to direct message

Another post on one of the accounts offers a Channel crossing from Dunkirk via a small boat or dinghy – and urging people interested to direct message 

The accounts include footage taken from aboard dinghies and small boats making the dangerous crossing - with those on the boats made to look like they are having fun

The accounts include footage taken from aboard dinghies and small boats making the dangerous crossing – with those on the boats made to look like they are having fun

A group of migrants including a babe in arms is taken into Dover yesterday

A group of migrants including a babe in arms is taken into Dover yesterday

Around 200 people crossed yesterday - around a third are now usually Albanians

Around 200 people crossed yesterday – around a third are now usually Albanians

MPs demand Rwanda plan be restarted as soon as possible as traffickers ‘trick migrants into racing to Britain before Boris Johnson is replaced’ 

The Rwanda scheme was championed by Home Secretary Priti Patel

The Rwanda scheme was championed by Home Secretary Priti Patel

Albanian migrants are being conned by ruthless human traffickers into making dangerous Channel crossings before Britain’s next Prime Minister takes office.

Those making the perilous journey are being warned a new leader will halt all crossings with patrols, while also dropping their charges from £10,000 to £2,000.

MPs last night called on ministers to redouble their efforts to deport migrants to Rwanda following a surge in Albanians using small boats to enter Britain. 

Leaked figures have revealed migrants from the Balkan country – a Nato member that wants to join the EU – now make up four in ten arrivals from northern France. 

The escalation saw 1,075 Albanians arrive 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. 

Leaked figures have revealed migrants from the Balkan country now make up four in ten arrivals from northern France with 1,075 Albanians 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 – now eclipsing all other nationalities including Afghans, Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians.

And TikTok is being used to lure them in with nine criminal gangs said to run the route to Britain. Experts are split, with some claiming it is a sale to coincide with the hot and dry summer Europe is enjoying while others believe it is ‘a closing down sale as they [gangs] are getting scared that the Rwanda policy will take off’.

Tony Smith, former director general of Border Force, told the Telegraph: ‘It may be the business model is struggling to handle new markets like Albania and may have to do a bit more of this sales pitch to encourage more people to do it.’ 

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’.

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.’

Another advert targeted at Albanians for crossings across the English Channel amid calls for the Rwanda scheme to be 'brought to fruition'

Another advert targeted at Albanians for crossings across the English Channel amid calls for the Rwanda scheme to be ‘brought to fruition’

Three accounts were found advertising the crossings, with one bragging about how the French let migrants through and promising a price of £3,500

Three accounts were found advertising the crossings, with one bragging about how the French let migrants through and promising a price of £3,500

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.’

Another 150 migrants are picked up in Dover today after being rescued from the Channel – as over 18,000 have arrived so far this year and MPs demand Rwanda plan to be restarted as soon as possible

Another 150 migrants including small children and a baby were picked up in Dover after being rescued from the English Channel today – amid calls from MPs to restart the Rwanda plan as soon as possible. 

A total of 18,284 people have crossed the Channel so far this year – with 1,885 of those migrants arriving in August alone, according to data released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). 

The first group of at least 80 people were brought into Dover, Kent, on-board Border Force ship Typhoon shortly before 7am.

They were escorted off the vessel by Border Force staff, before being loaded onto a coach to be taken for processing.

Two men could be seen supporting each other by holding hands as they walked along the gangway.

A second group of approximately 50 people arrived at the harbour on Border Force cutter Ranger at around 8am.

At least four children and a small baby wrapped in a blue blanket were among those led along the walkway by soldiers in camouflage fatigues.

And a further group were escorted ashore into Dover on Border Force vessel Volunteer at around 3.45pm today.

The group included a number of young children, with a soldier seen carrying a small baby along the gangway to be processed by UK officials.

Other migrants were spotted carrying their possessions in plastic carrier bags as they disembarked the boat.

While the MoD is yet to release the official figures for today, it is thought that at least 150 migrants have crossed the English Channel by small boat so far.  

A group of around 50 migrants were escorted ashore into Dover, Kent, this afternoon after being picked up by Border Force in the Channel

A group of around 50 migrants were escorted ashore into Dover, Kent, this afternoon after being picked up by Border Force in the Channel

The group of migrants were escorted off the vessel by Border Force staff, before being loaded onto a coach to be taken for processing

The group of migrants were escorted off the vessel by Border Force staff, before being loaded onto a coach to be taken for processing

The group included a number of young children, with a soldier seen carrying a small baby along the gangway to be processed by UK officials

The group included a number of young children, with a soldier seen carrying a small baby along the gangway to be processed by UK officials

A migrants gives a thumbs up as he is escorted ashore by Border Force officials this afternoon to be loaded onto a coach and processed

A migrants gives a thumbs up as he is escorted ashore by Border Force officials this afternoon to be loaded onto a coach and processed

Another 100 migrants including small children and a baby were picked up in Dover after being rescued from the English Channel overnight

Another 100 migrants including small children and a baby were picked up in Dover after being rescued from the English Channel overnight 

The first group of at least 80 people were brought into Dover, Kent, on-board Border Force ship Typhoon shortly before 7am. Two men could be seen supporting each other by holding hands as they walked along the gangway

The first group of at least 80 people were brought into Dover, Kent, on-board Border Force ship Typhoon shortly before 7am. Two men could be seen supporting each other by holding hands as they walked along the gangway

A second group of approximately 50 people arrived at the harbour on Border Force cutter Ranger at around 8am

A second group of approximately 50 people arrived at the harbour on Border Force cutter Ranger at around 8am 

At least four children and a small baby wrapped in a blue blanket were among those led along the walkway by soldiers in camouflage fatigues

At least four children and a small baby wrapped in a blue blanket were among those led along the walkway by soldiers in camouflage fatigues

A total of 18,284 people have crossed the Channel so far this year - with 1,885 of those migrants arriving in August alone, according to data released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD)

A total of 18,284 people have crossed the Channel so far this year – with 1,885 of those migrants arriving in August alone, according to data released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) 

A lady carries a young child to a bus as a group of people are brought into Dover, Kent

A lady carries a young child to a bus as a group of people are brought into Dover, Kent

Last night, MPs called on ministers to redouble their efforts to deport migrants to Rwanda following a surge in Albanians using small boats to enter Britain

Last night, MPs called on ministers to redouble their efforts to deport migrants to Rwanda following a surge in Albanians using small boats to enter Britain 

It comes after the weekend saw more than 500 migrants make the perilous journey across the 21-mile Dover Straits in inflatable dinghies and other small craft.

According to official government data, 337 people arrived on British soil in 10 boats on Saturday, while a further 176 migrants were intercepted at sea in five vessels on Sunday.

The French coastguard (CROSS) in Griz Nez prevented a further 42 people from crossing the Channel in the early hours of Saturday morning.

After being made aware of a boat in difficulty in the Calais Straits, the CROSS tasked the French Navy rescue tug Abeille Normandie with rescuing a group of stranded people.

Abeille Normandie picked up 42 migrants and dropped them at the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer where they were taken care of by the departmental fire and rescue service and the border police.

28,526 people made the treacherous journey in 2021 – compared to 8,410 who arrived in 2020.

A Government spokesperson said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.

‘Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws, but they risk lives and hinder our ability to help refugees who come to the UK through safe and legal routes.

‘The Nationality and Borders Act will enable us to crack down on abuse of the system and the evil people smugglers, who will now be subject to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The Rwanda scheme was championed by Home Secretary Priti Patel

The Rwanda scheme was championed by Home Secretary Priti Patel

‘Under our new Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda, we are continuing preparations to relocate those who are making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys into the UK in order for their claims to be considered and rebuild their lives.’

Last night, MPs called on ministers to redouble their efforts to deport migrants to Rwanda following a surge in Albanians using small boats to enter Britain. 

Those making the perilous journey are being warned a new Prime Minister will halt all crossings with patrols, while also dropping their charges from £10,000 to £2,000.

Leaked figures have revealed migrants from the Balkan country – a Nato member that wants to join the EU – now make up four in ten arrivals from northern France. 

The escalation saw 1,075 Albanians arrive 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. 

Tory backbenchers 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.’ 

Elsewhere, the charge for hiding inside a lorry is as high as £22,000, although it carries a much high risk of being caught, The Sun reports.

A source said: ‘Albanians are being told hundred of people will be patrolling the Channel, fences will guard the coast and they will be sent back and lose their money.

‘It’s coming from the gangsters so they can cash in by creating a real influx.

Police officers near the Boeing 767 aircraft at MoD Boscombe Down, near Salisbury, which failed to take off to Rwanda on June 14

Police officers near the Boeing 767 aircraft at MoD Boscombe Down, near Salisbury, which failed to take off to Rwanda on June 14

‘When there is a PM, a new lie will be created – whatever it takes to keep this evil trade going.’

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.’ 

Welby blasts ‘unethical’ treatment

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged Anglican bishops to speak out against ‘unethical treatment’ of migrants and climate change. 

In his latest highly political intervention, Justin Welby encouraged Church of England leaders to ‘take risks’ and warned that failing to act would make them ‘one of the oppressors’. 

Describing climate change as an ‘undeclared war’, the former oil executive warned it could create 1.2billion refugees with consequences ‘tragic beyond anything in human history’. 

‘To be silent on the unethical treatment of migrants or on war or oppression, on the abuse of human rights, on persecution, is to be one of the oppressors,’ he told the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops. ‘Not so much nowadays, I think both the Cabinet and myself would say,’ he added.

It came after the Archbishop used his Easter sermon this year to denounce Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Rwanda asylum deal, suggesting that ‘serious ethical questions’ about the plan would not ‘stand up to the judgment of God’.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘No one should question this government’s determination to break the gangs’ business model.’

A source in Liz Truss’s leadership campaign said: ‘Liz has a plan to expand border force, ensure the European Convention on Human Rights works for Britain, and reform modern slavery laws which are being abused. The need for deterrence is key, which is why we will ensure the migration deal with Rwanda works, and look to strike other deals.’ 

A spokesman for Rishi Sunak’s campaign said stopping crossings would be a top priority for him, adding: ‘It is wholly unacceptable that migrants from peaceful countries, like Albania, are trying to enter the UK illegally.’ 

The number of Albanians who arrived by small boat in the six-week period, latest official data places the country much further down the league table of arrivals. 

Just 271 reached Britain by small boat in the first quarter of this year and 757 in the whole of 2021. However, there were a total of almost 5,000 asylum claims made by Albanians in the year to March, suggesting growing numbers may be switching to small boats from other methods of entering the UK, such as hiding in lorries. 

The Home Office did not offer an explanation for the rise in Albanian asylum seekers last night. 

Richard Tice, of Reform UK, who obtained the leaked report said: ‘If these people are not genuinely fleeing for their lives, then it is not up to the British taxpayer to support them.’ 

Clare Moseley, of refugee charity Care4Calais, questioned whether the Albanian surge could be an ‘anomaly’. ‘The evidence clearly shows that for the last few years the majority of people crossing the Channel were genuine refugees,’ she said. ‘If there has been a change, it seems that the success of small boat crossings is affecting the behaviour of smugglers.’ 

A government spokesman said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable. The Nationality and Borders Act makes it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and we have introduced life sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country.’

French police foil migrants looking to sneak across the Channel by puncturing their dinghy with a KNIFE and smashing its outboard motor

ByMax Aitchison For The Daily Mail 

This is the dramatic moment French police foiled an attempted Channel crossing by a group of around 45 migrants by puncturing the boat and smashing up its engine.

Just after sunset on Saturday evening in the sleepy holiday resort of Gravelines, between Calais and Dunkirk, migrants wearing red life vests emerged from the sand dunes and made a dash for the water.

Several women and men carried young children in their arms while a large group of mostly young men followed behind, hauling a black dinghy above their heads. But they were intercepted by a police car which raced across the beach, with officers bursting out to puncture the dinghy with a knife as the migrants scattered.

One fell to his knees with his hands covering his face as an officer appeared to use pepper spray. Police then smashed the outboard engine to pieces with a hammer and bemused holidaymakers looked on as the migrants walked dejectedly back to the dunes. No arrests were made.

This is the dramatic moment French police foiled an attempted Channel crossing by a group of around 45 migrants by puncturing the boat and smashing up its engine

This is the dramatic moment French police foiled an attempted Channel crossing by a group of around 45 migrants by puncturing the boat and smashing up its engine

Just after sunset on Saturday evening in the sleepy holiday resort of Gravelines, between Calais and Dunkirk, migrants wearing red life vests emerged from the sand dunes and made a dash for the water

Just after sunset on Saturday evening in the sleepy holiday resort of Gravelines, between Calais and Dunkirk, migrants wearing red life vests emerged from the sand dunes and made a dash for the water

The migrants were intercepted by a police car which raced across the beach, with officers bursting out to puncture the dinghy with a knife as the migrants scattered

The migrants were intercepted by a police car which raced across the beach, with officers bursting out to puncture the dinghy with a knife as the migrants scattered

Despite their elation, it came on a day when 10 small boats carrying 337 migrants successfully launched from the French coast and made it to the UK – with the total number this year alone now surpassing 18,000, according to Ministry of Defence figures.

The grim milestone was broken just five days after 696 people were rescued by Border Force and brought to shore last Monday, the busiest day for Channel crossings so far this year.

It is likely crossings will continue this week, with the Met Office predicting warm weather and calm winds on the south coast.

The location at Gravelines has been used by at least five smuggling gangs in recent months who are seemingly becoming ever-more brazen by attempting dangerous night crossings.

Elia Carpentier, 20, who works in the tourist office on the beachfront, told how she had seen a boat full of migrants leave the beach at 7pm on Friday.

‘I was really surprised because normally they leave when the sun goes down or at dawn,’ she said.

An inflatable craft carrying migrants crosses the shipping lane in the English Channel towards the white cliffs at Dover earlier this month. the total number this year alone now surpasses 18,000, according to Ministry of Defence figures

An inflatable craft carrying migrants crosses the shipping lane in the English Channel towards the white cliffs at Dover earlier this month. the total number this year alone now surpasses 18,000, according to Ministry of Defence figures

‘The boat waited for them at the edge of the water. I’m not sure how many got on but there were men, women and children in the group.’

The French police operation was the culmination of a tense, three-hour-long game of cat-and-mouse between officers and the migrants hiding in the scrubland behind the dunes.

From 6.30pm until sunset, a reporter and photographer from the Daily Mail lay in the sand at the water’s edge, taking cover behind a pair of French bird hunters.

From that vantage point, it was possible to observe through binoculars two officers constantly monitoring a group of 18 young male migrants who kept moving through the scrubland.

Miss Carpentier, 20, who lives next to the beach at Gravelines, said it was an open secret where the migrants hid before attempting to cross the Channel.

‘At the far end of the beach there is a campsite and beyond that is a forest,’ she said.

‘They set up camp there for one or two nights before waiting for a boat. They just leave their stuff – I see it when I walk my dog.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk