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    5. Stopping Channel migrants 'impossible without a Rwanda-style scheme'


    Stopping Channel migrants 'impossible without a Rwanda-style scheme'

    More than 23,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel this year. Photo: Shutterstock

    Efforts to prevent migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats will struggle without schemes like Rwanda's to tackle and deter them, a National Crime Agency assessment suggests.

    Sources in law enforcement officials said the agency, the British equivalent of the FBI, does not believe in any funding or action against people. the smugglers themselves will stop crossings.

    The drug networks were so chaotic and lacking any hierarchy that stopping them was “virtually like whack-a-mole,” with as soon as one shut down, another would take its place, one source said.

    “They just carried on.” to appear – all you need is a phone and a boat, which are not illegal items. The NCA's position is that you need an effective removal and deterrence agreement,” added the law enforcement source.

    “No country has ever stopped upstream trafficking in foreign countries – the Australians have done it , but it was with the help of a deportation scheme.”

    The assessment comes as Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor Party leader, unveils his party's strategy for tackling small craft border crossings when he visits Europol, the EU's law enforcement cooperation agency, in The Hague, Netherlands on Thursday.

    < p>This will include the creation of a specialized cross-border cell within the National Crime Agency (NCA), funded by redirecting funds from the government's Rwandan deportation scheme, which Labor considers “unworkable”.

    Elite officers will be employed with border guards in upstream countries such as France and Belgium to disrupt the human smuggling supply chain. The extra funds will also be used to clear a backlog of asylum claims, which cost £6 million a day for hotel stays.

    A key battleground

    Immigration will be a key battleground ahead of next year's general election, thanks to a scheme in Rwanda that would see asylum seekers who enter Britain illegally deported to the East African country, a key dividing line between the parties.

    Deportation flights to Rwanda were suspended this fall pending a Supreme Court ruling on their legality.

    A senior law enforcement source said: “The NCA have made this very clear. domestically – no amount of funding will help them stop the boats on their own.” Sources said the NCA assessed that the ability to prosecute in the UK was limited as most of the organized crime gangs behind people smuggling had a minimal presence In Great Britain. There was often no money trail as cash largely changed hands before migrants arrived in the UK.

    The sale and handling of boats on the continent was also difficult to stop as there was no offense unless the practice was prohibited. directly linked to organized crime, the sources said.

    However, officials are exploring whether EU law could be invoked to allow ships to be confiscated as “dangerous goods”, disrupting the supply chain used by traffickers.

    Where the NCA can provide information about its investigations In other countries' law enforcement agencies, countries' ability to prosecute has varied, sources said. Those involved in supply chains were also often far removed from the people-smuggling gangs in northern France.

    1,208 Cumulative arrivals of people crossing the English Channel in small boats

    More than 23,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel this year, about 20 percent fewer than last year, partly due to a fast-track deportation deal with Albania that has cut the number of arrivals from the country by more than 90 percent.< /p >

    However, it is understood that the NCA still believes that the gangs' business model remains profitable and sustainable. The prospects of migrants reaching and remaining in the UK remained “high”, so the NCA said removal and deterrence remained important.

    The NCA said it had carried out more than 90 investigations into “high-level” smugglers and networks.

    “There is no single law enforcement solution or other action that can stop these transitions, but our activities both in the UK and overseas are having an impact resulting in hundreds of arrests and the disruption of large numbers of networks involved in this type of crime.” a spokesman said.

    A Home Office spokesman said: “We are removing the incentive for people to come here illegally through the Irregular Migration Act, which will enable us to apprehend and quickly remove those making the treacherous journey across the English Channel. .

    “At the same time, we are cracking down on people smugglers who profit from this evil trade and put lives at risk by stepping up prosecutions and illegal enforcement. visits and law enforcement activities.”

    Next month, ministers are expected to announce a new agreement with Frontex, the EU border agency, on intelligence sharing and joint projects at key migrant crossing points into Europe.

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