Screaming migrant girl begs to not be taken on Channel crossing
‘I don’t want to go, Daddy’: Harrowing moment screaming migrant girl begs to not be taken on Channel crossing at Calais beach – as London-based brokers for £3,500-a-head smuggling gangs are unmasked
- Shocking scene captured at night by ITV crew investigating migrant crossings
- Undercover reporters meet gang members in France who offer £3,500 crossing
- Documentary also shows London brokers who hold money for people smugglers
- Exposure – Hunting The People Smugglers will be on ITV at 10.45pm tonight
This is the heartbreaking moment a migrant girl was bundled into a boat by her father to cross the English Channel at Calais and told him: ‘I don’t want to go, Daddy.’
The shocking scene was captured secretly at night by an ITV crew investigating migrant crossings at Bleriot beach for a new documentary being shown tonight.
Undercover reporters for the Exposure programme also came face to face with gang members in France who offered to send them to the UK for £3,500 each.
And the documentary also revealed the faces of brokers based in London who hold money for people smugglers attempting to help migrants cross the Channel.
The middlemen, one based in a high street office in West London and another at a currency exchange in the capital, are shown in ‘Hunting The People Smugglers’.
People prepare to cross the channel from a beach in the heart of Calais at 3am in the morning
A migrant girl being bundled into a boat by her father tells him: ‘I don’t want to go, Daddy’
In a six-month probe, investigators infiltrated gangs making huge profits out of the estimated 7,173 migrants who have already come to Britain on small boats this year.
This figure is compared with 1,850 migrants throughout all of 2019 – and at least 1,954 completed the crossing in small boats in September alone.
The team uncovered both the gangs’ financial arrangements and the mechanics of the crossings launched in the middle of the night to avoid the French police.
They also discovered migrants being put to sea on flimsy dinghies, with motors being started by smugglers before setting off across the Channel.
And they investigated an agent for the smugglers in Calais who later turned up at a hotel in the Midlands, having claimed asylum in the UK.
The ITV crew were investigating migrant crossings at Bleriot beach in Calais for a new show
Undercover reporters for the Exposure programme filmed the crossing starting at Calais
Investigators infiltrated gangs making huge profits out of the migrants crossing the Channel
In addition, the investigators found that in order to cross the Channel, migrants would usually first need to pay a separate broker based in London.
Undercover reporters met with a broker called Akbar Amery in an office on a high street in West London, where he explained that he was responsible for taking ‘the guarantee’ on behalf of the smuggler.
He said: ‘You pay me cash or you want to put it in an account, and then I will confirm it with him, the person’s name, and then soon the person [comes] over, [and] after one or two days when you know he’s in, that’s it – finish – I release the money.’
However he explained the limitations of that guarantee and admitted that by taking the money for the illegal crossing, he was breaking the law.
‘It’s not like a receipt, a proper receipt, [I can’t] give you a receipt because it’s an illegal job.’
Reporters met with a broker called Akbar Amery in an office on a high street in West London, where he explained that he was responsible for taking ‘the guarantee’ on behalf of the smuggler
Amery explained the limitations of that guarantee and admitted that by taking the money for the illegal crossing, he was breaking the law
According to Amery, the guarantee works by money being paid to him either through an account or by cash, and he said he holds onto the money until the crossing is completed.
Then the money, he said, is released to the smugglers – minus his commission.
Amery said if their man didn’t arrive on UK soil, they get their money back, and the same if they cancel the job, known as a ‘game’ by the smugglers.
He also told the reporters safety was important and to ‘tell them (the smugglers) to get a nice boat…an expensive boat.’ He claimed that only ‘one old Iranian lady’ had died during a crossing.
The Home Office has confirmed this week that five people are known to have died crossing the Channel in small boats since 2018.
The undercover team later found another broker in London who admitted working with several smugglers in Calais. From an office in Central London, Mohammed Meehan works in a currency exchange
Mihan told an undercover reporter that he works with some of the top smugglers in France, Britain and Serbia. He provided further detail on the financial workings of the gangs, explaining that each gang sends a runner to pick up their money
The undercover team later found another broker in London who admitted working with several smugglers in Calais.
From an office in Central London, Mohammed Meehan works in a currency exchange.
He told an undercover reporter that he works with some of the top smugglers in France, Britain and Serbia.
He provided further detail on the financial workings of the gangs, explaining that each gang sends a runner to pick up their money.
He said: ‘They come here every week or so and do their calculations. If you’re not careful and you mix up the people and the smugglers are Kurdish, it gets really bad.
ITV reporter Adnan Sarwar on a beach near Calais where he witnessed a crossing first hand
‘You have to pay yourself…. They don’t mess around. They come and attack you at night.’
The man who put the reporters in touch with the brokers, who calls himself Marko Hooman, was an agent for the smugglers, and later turned up at a hotel in the Midlands, having claimed asylum in the UK.
In a dramatic scene, ITV’s team confronted a man thought to be Marko, but he denied his name was Marko or Hooman, and walked off.
The Home Office told the programme it is determined to fix what it says is a broken asylum system which enables organised criminals to elbow the most vulnerable to the side.
Government officials also say they are introducing a new system which will be fairer and firmer, welcoming people through safe and legal routes.
ITV contacted Amery and Mihan for comment but has not received a response from either man.
Exposure – Hunting The People Smugglers airs on ITV at 10.45pm tonight
Source: Read Full Article