Major Channel Migrant Human Trafficking Network Busted in France
French police have arrested what is being characterised as a major people-smuggling operation behind many of the small rubber boats that have carried illegal migrants across the English Channel to the UK.
Police arrested six Iraqi and Syrian men during raids in the city of Sin-le-Noble in northern France. The alleged human traffickers are said to have played a “crucial” role in facilitating dozens of illegal boat crossings since at least May.
During the raids, police also seized 14 inflatable boats. Four of the suspects are set to appear in court in Boulogne on Friday.
A source told the British tabloid The Sun: “This was a sophisticated operation and required a painstaking investigation which lasted several weeks.”
“Messages on encrypted phone apps are believed to have revealed the links to Britain. There is information sharing between the UK and the French.
“French police are thought to have used phone taps to help nail them. It’s a major victory but in no way will this bring to an end the problem.”
It is believed that the people smugglers had connections to organised crime gangs in Britain, enabling the traffickers to offer discounted rates for helping the illegal aliens reach the UK in exchange for providing “slave labour” in laundrettes, takeaway restaurants, and cannabis farms owned by the British-based gangs.
In September, a source in Calais claimed that illegal migrants sign a “pact” with traffickers before setting sail for Britain, saying: “It’s in pretty poor conditions. They’re essentially the property of the smuggling gangs and the gangsters in the UK.”
“Someone paying money back through unregulated work is worth much more than the discount,” he added.