Albanian migrants are being smuggled into the UK with Christmas presents and festive goods in a new lorry scam to avoid the danger of winter Channel crossings by small boat.
People smugglers are using TikTok to advertise £18,000 deals where they fix it for migrants to be smuggled into the UK as “second drivers” in lorries bringing Christmas goods into the UK.
The migrant takes the place of a registered second driver to travel across the Channel rather than use the conventional and riskier route of hiding in the back of a lorry.
One advert with a cartoon image of Tower Bridge, a red double-decker bus and Union Jack promised: “Every day we offer a journey as a second driver. Our last journey was successful. 18K£ for a lorry to the UK. Anyone who is now in Belgium or France should get in touch.”
Another with an image of lorries on a motorway overlaid with Union Jacks and Albanian national flags said: “Hey Albanian after three days we have journeyed with lorry as a second lorry driver. £18,000. Secure passage.”
The lorry route into the UK was regularly used by people smugglers, largely in the back of trucks, until the UK and France toughened joint controls, leading to migrants switching to the cheaper option of small boats in 2018. Nearly 40,000 have crossed the Channel by boat so far this year, of which 12,000 are from Albania.
Read More: Albanian migrants pay £18,000 to be ‘second drivers’ in lorries