Channel traffickers plying their vile trade just hours after tragedy

Channel traffickers continue to ply their vile trade on social media just hours after tragedy which left six migrants dead

  • Adverts show Channel migrants plying their trade – just hours after six drowned

Brazen people smugglers continued to advertise dangerous Channel crossings to would-be migrants last night, despite six deaths after an overcrowded boat capsized.

Dozens of adverts offering small-boat journeys to Britain remained on TikTok and Instagram, with money-grabbing thugs trying to lure clients with assurances of safety. One told an undercover Mail on Sunday reporter that we would not suffer the tragic fate of those who died if we paid £3,000 for a journey from Calais to Dover leaving at dusk.

When we raised concerns about the boat that sank, they told us: ‘Not all of them drowned. We make journeys every day, most of them successful. The sea will be super calm. Come now!’

Yesterday, Border Force sources revealed dinghies were getting more and more overcrowded. The one that capsized yesterday had nearly 70 people on board.

Last month saw the highest average number of migrants per boat ever at 50, but August is set to eclipse that. And despite the tragedy, just over 500 migrants crossed the Channel yesterday, making it the fourth busiest day of the year.

People smuggler video advert for Channel crossings, dated 12 August. It translates: ‘France to UK. This boat will be available very soon’


One Albanian people smuggler offering crossings on TikTok posted footage of migrants dragging a small black boat into the Channel from France hours before the tragic journey set off.

When our undercover reporter messaged them, they said they were sending boats every day. We voiced concerns about safety and they replied: ‘Don’t worry. [The people who drowned] were not our customers. We got people across last night, no problem at all. No one drowned, they all survived.’

Asked if they knew why the tragic boat had capsized, they said: ‘Don’t know. Just unlucky.’

The smuggler’s TikTok account dodges the social network’s filter by replacing words such as UK and France with emoji icons. 

Another TikTok account, run by Kurdish gangs, posted a video yesterday of a small boat in a seaside warehouse in France.  The boat was prepared for a trip across the Channel. 

The caption read: ‘France to UK. This boat will be available very soon.’

An insider in the UK’s Albanian community said: ‘People smugglers have been freely advertising their lucrative business on social media for a long time. But it boggles the mind that they are continuing to do it after six people drowned.’

Peter Bone MP, former chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on human trafficking, said: ‘These criminal gangs do not care a single jot about human life. 

‘People are just a commodity to them. The Mail on Sunday’s investigation shows these people are among the most evil on the planet. Sadly, the fact they are continuing to offer these journeys even after today’s tragedy doesn’t surprise me one bit.

‘These are not good people helping poor refugees seek a safer life. They are charging individuals through the nose for incredibly dangerous journeys across the Channel with promises of comfort and fortune. 

‘Their assurances that the trips will be safe are lies. They don’t care if someone drowns, they only care about the money.

‘We can only hope this acts as a wake-up call that tough action is needed to stop people plying this utterly evil trade.’

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