Gangs 'Smuggle Migrants from Calais to UK to Commit Crimes'

Migrants are being smuggled into Britain from Calais by gangs so they can become criminals, the head of the Border Force has warned.

Published: 21st August 2015 10:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2015 10:20 AM   |  A+A-

CALAIS: Migrants are being smuggled into Britain from Calais by gangs so they can become criminals, the head of the Border Force has warned.

Philip Duffy added "high level" gangs are resorting to ever more dangerous methods to smuggle people into the UK, including wrapping them in plastic so they can avoid carbon dioxide detectors.

It came as Theresa May, the Home Secretary, warned the migrant crisis affecting Calais could spread to other European ferry ports, as she announced Britain would pay for border officials and translators to process thousands of asylum claims on French soil as part of a pounds 7?million aid package.

Mr Duffy, Border Force's chief operating officer, said: "At the very higher end you've got more organised attempts where you've got some of the organised crime gangs, some of whom are bringing people in to traffic them for criminal activity in the UK."

Britain has commissioned an audit of security arrangements at ports in northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands, said Mrs May, as she admitted new security measures in Calais would drive migrants elsewhere.

She said she and James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, were in talks with their Belgian and Dutch counterparts over the issue.

The Home Secretary has signed a deal with Bernard Cazeneuve, her French counterpart, that dramatically widens Britain's role in the French immigration system. A new Anglo-French taskforce will "maximise the number of illegal migrants who return home".

Britain will make an undisclosed "financial contribution" for migrants to be processed and flown to their countries of origin from Calais and UK officials will help the French to provide travel documents for migrants.

The UK will also send translators and help set up an asylum centre a "significant distance" from Calais to relieve pressure on the port city.


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