People-smuggling: ‘100 Britons’ jailed in France in past year
By Jane Deith
File on 4
23 June 2015
From the section UK
Up to 100 Britons are thought to have been jailed in France in the last year for trying to smuggle migrants through Calais to the UK, the BBC has learned.
Most of them had hidden the migrants in their own cars, prosecutors say.
Car and van drivers, instead of lorry drivers, are increasingly being recruited by smuggling gangs.
The deputy prosecutor for the Calais region’s main court said she saw between five and 10 smugglers from the UK every month.
Julie Colaert told the BBC’s File on 4 programme that people from the UK now made up a quarter of those brought before the court – second only to smugglers from Eastern Europe.
I’m in debt. That’s why I did it. I’ve been playing a lot of money in the casinoBasir Haji, Convicted people smuggler
“In the last two years we have seen more and more English smugglers,” she said.
“Trafficking gangs are employing them to take people across in their own cars.
“The migrants pay a lot of money because it’s sold as guaranteed passage to the UK.”
Iraqis in boot
She estimated that up to 100 people from the UK had been convicted by the court in the past 12 months.
She gave an estimated figure because, she said, in France it is illegal to record statistics by nationality.
These two Iraqi men were found hiding in the boot of a car at Calais
Source:: BBC UK