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More than 5,000 Albanians have crossed the Channel in small boats so far this year

So far this year, more than 5,000 Albanians have crossed the Channel by small boat – including more than half of yesterday’s 600 arrivals.

Albanian drug lords are sending so-called ‘cleanskins’ to Britain with no criminal record to become involved in organized criminal gangs, reports David Barrett of the Mail+.

And canal arrival checks fail to detect connections between some arrivals and people smugglers in the Balkans, sources have said.

There are fears that migrants with no criminal record may be involved in serious crime, such as drug gangs, to repay their debts to people smugglers.

‘Cleanskins’ is a term first used by security forces in Northern Ireland during The Troubles to describe the recruitment of terrorists with no criminal record by IRA and loyalist paramilitaries.

According to official government figures, 21,000 migrants have crossed the Channel in small boats so far this year.

Border Force members escort migrants back to Dover Marina today

Border Force members escort migrants back to Dover Marina today

Official figures showed that between April and June, Albanians were the largest group making claims to modern slavery, with 1,130 applications (Photo: People smugglers use TikTok to sell channel crossings)

Official figures showed that between April and June, Albanians were the largest group making claims to modern slavery, with 1,130 applications (Photo: People smugglers use TikTok to sell channel crossings)

REVEALED: People smugglers charge migrants £17,000 to sneak into UK via English Channel and North Sea on luxury yachts

Relentless people smugglers are sneaking Albanian migrants into the UK on luxury yachts as part of a ‘premium’ people smuggling service.

An undercover MoS journalist, posing as a migrant, last week contacted Albanian crime bosses who claim they regularly use yachts to smuggle people across the English Channel and the North Sea.

One trader offered a place on a yacht leaving Belgium this weekend for £17,000, while another said there was room on a yacht leaving near Calais for £16,000.

The MoS revealed last weekend how a leaked military intelligence report showed that four in 10 migrants crossing the Channel in small boats this summer are from Albania — a member of NATO where there has been no war in 25 years.

Now the investigation has uncovered how people smugglers are using TikTok to attack Albanian migrants and cynically urge them not to risk their lives on packed inflatable boats, but instead opt for a “safe” passage by luxury yacht.

Amazingly, detectives in the Netherlands say people smugglers have been caught hunting the UK along a stretch of over 100 miles of the Dutch coastline from Vlissingen in the south to Den Helder in the north.

Most of the passengers on intercepted ships were Albanian nationals, said the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, a national police force.

Over a six-week period in June and July, 1,075 Albanians arrived in small boats, nearly one in four of the total for the period, The Mail on Sunday revealed last week.

A significant proportion of Albanian arrivals end up committing crimes, in a sort of ‘revolving door’ to British prisons, the source added.

A deal with Albania signed by Priti Patel in July 2021 has led to a rise in the number of criminals being sent home, with the Interior Ministry currently chartering one relocation flight to Tirana every week.

But the influx across the Channel far outweighs the number being removed. The National Crime Agency is working with local police in Albania to prevent people from going to Britain and is cracking down on smuggling gangs, it is known.

Reforms to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 were imminent but were delayed due to the Tory leadership contest, an insider added.

Miss Patel has also appointed a top QC, Harish Salve, to carry out a broader review of the legislation.

Last week, official figures showed that between April and June, Albanians were the largest group claiming modern slavery, with 1,130 applications. Figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Defense showed that arrivals of small boats reached 20,017 this year after 607 migrants were taken to Dover on Saturday. Last year it was just over 11,300 at the same point.

In 2022, a total of 21,058 people made the treacherous journey across the 21-mile Dover Straits – almost double the 11,599 who had arrived on British soil by this time last year.

In August alone, 4,659 people were intercepted at sea by Border Force officials, making it a record month for the year so far.

The busiest day for 2022 came on August 1, when 696 people reached the UK in 14 boats – an average of 50 people per vessel.

This was closely followed by Wednesday (August 17), where 606 people crossed the Channel in inflatable dinghies or other small craft.

Despite the strong winds at sea, the crossings started in the early morning hours and continued throughout the day.

At about 10 a.m. Border Force catamaran Typhoon brought at least 80 people to Dover, Kent.

The predominantly male group was led along the gangway by soldiers dressed in camouflage clothing.

Among them were a primary school-age girl and boy, both wrapped in a blue blanket, and a baby wearing a blue life jacket with sea creatures on it.

About an hour later, Border Force cutter Hurricane arrived at the harbor with dozens of migrants on board.

First some women and children were helped from the ship, followed by a number of young men.

At about 2:30 p.m., the Border Force vessel Volunteer escorted another group of migrants to the port.

Their life jackets were removed by Border Force personnel before being led to a bus to be processed by British officials.

Border Force boat Ranger intercepted about 50 more people at 5 p.m. Among them was a young woman with a small baby in a blue blanket and an elderly man who had to be pushed down the gangplank in a wheelchair. A teenage boy was seen smiling and making an inverted victory gesture to onlookers as he disembarked.

On Wednesday, there were a total of 606 arrivals from northern France (pictured in Dover today)

On Wednesday, there were a total of 606 arrivals from northern France (pictured in Dover today)

In August alone, 4,659 people arrived in the UK aboard dinghies from northern France

In August alone, 4,659 people arrived in the UK aboard dinghies from northern France

The French coastguard also intercepted more than 100 people in the Channel on Wednesday.

The Regional Operations and Surveillance Center (CROSS) in Griz-Nez identified several boats in difficulty in the Strait of Calais.

It ordered the French naval boat Flamant to pick up and drop off 62 stranded people at Dunkirk harbour.

While the French Navy tugboat Abeilla Normandie was tasked with rescuing and dropping off 39 migrants in the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Once at the quay, they were met by the departmental fire and rescue service and the border police.

A government spokesman said: ‘The increase in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.

“Not only are they an open violation of our immigration laws, but they also risk lives and hinder our ability to help refugees who come to the UK via safe and legal routes.

“The Nationality and Borders Act allows us to crack down on the abuse of the system and the malicious smugglers, who are now sentenced to a maximum penalty of life in prison.

“As part of our new partnership for migration and economic development with Rwanda, we are continuing preparations to relocate those making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys to the UK so that their claims can be considered and their lives restored. built up.’

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