With the invasion of illegal migrants crossing the English Channel to get into Great Britain, the National Crime Agency NCA have put out an urgent appeal to look out for suspicious activity regarding buy repetitive boats and other equipment.
The information put out by the NCA reads: “The National Crime Agency has issued an alert to the UK maritime industry, warning them that organised crime groups may target them to obtain small boats for people smugglers.”
“Organised crime groups are known to target legitimate sellers of vessels and equipment such as outboard motors and life jackets, both in person and online. There are also incidents recorded of boats and equipment being stolen.”
“The NCA have conducted a number of operations targeting those who supply boats to people smugglers, but the Agency is asking those in the industry to report concerns or suspicious activity relating to the purchase of boat equipment.”
NCA Head of Organised Immigration Crime Operations, Miles Bonfield, said:
“Today we are directly appealing to those within the marine and maritime industries to help us stop those involved in organised people smuggling.”
“Crossing the channel in vessels like these is extremely dangerous and life threatening – but the organised crime groups involved don’t care about safety or welfare, they just see migrants as a commodity to be exploited.”
“We’re already working closely with a range of partners in the UK and on the continent to target the supply of these vessels, but we are now asking that the UK industry helps us and report any suspicions they may have.”
“Essentially we want people to follow their gut feeling. They know their industry and their customers well. If they sense something isn’t quite right or seems unusual, then please report it to the charity Crimestoppers, either by phone on 0800 555 111 or online. You will remain anonymous.”
With this call going out, the problem still remains. What are France doing to protect their borders and to prevent those leaving their shores heading for Britain illegally. So far it feels like a one way taxi service straight into Britain. Those who live around the kent coast know that this has been going on for many years. Will the government finally put a stop to this? Only time will tell.