Migrants ‘pulled across Channel as smugglers promise Covid shots and hotel stays’

Hundreds of people made the dangerous journey this week during a summer heatwave in Britain. A toddler was among those who arrived in Dover on Wednesday, authorities said

Hundreds of migrants crossed the English Channel this week

Migrants are reportedly enticed to cross the Channel by smugglers who promise them Covid-19 shots and hotel stays upon arrival.

Hundreds of people made the dangerous journey this week during a summer heatwave in Britain.

A toddler was among those who arrived in Dover on Wednesday, authorities said.

More than 700 people crossed the English Channel on Monday and Tuesday, many of them landing on Dungeness beach in Kent.

A migrant claimed the smugglers had promised they would receive a coronavirus vaccine once in the UK because the country had enough ‘to give’.

They also said they were promised to stay in luxurious hotels – and were even shown pictures before crossing the Channel.

Smugglers promise luxurious hotel stays


Getty Images)

The refugee says The sun “They told me they would take me to a hotel and live there. They even showed me pictures.

“I was told I would be bitten too because Britain had so much vaccine they could afford to give it.”

Britain offers vaccines to anyone regardless of immigration status, and one refugee from Eritrea said he received an injection after arriving.

Britain’s Border Force transports a group of migrants found in the English Channel off Dover



They said: “I paid £500 for the crossing. It was all my savings but it was worth every penny. My room is beautiful and the food is very good.

“One morning I was called to line up in a conference room where nurses were giving the vaccine. I hope to be double vaccinated by the end of August.”

The smugglers would have planned many crossings this week to take advantage of the warm weather conditions and the calm sea.

Men, women and children pay smugglers up to £3,000 to ferry them across the 21-mile Strait of Dover.

Children were among the migrants who made the dangerous journey this week


Adam Gerard/Daily Mirror)

The journey is dangerous, but migrants make the journey for a variety of reasons, including seeking asylum after fleeing war zones or reuniting with family in the UK.

Yesterday France said it rescued a shipment of 42 migrants in the English Channel after their boat ran into difficulty.

The rescuers were alerted by the migrants and a rescue vessel picked them up at sea off Pas-de-Calais, according to a press release from the French police.

They were taken to the nearby port of Boulogne-sur-Mer and all are in good health, the statement said.

The smugglers took advantage of the warm weather this week


Paul Bonich Video)

Britain has repeatedly pressured French President Emmanuel Macron’s government to do more to stop migrants leaving France.

As the British government pledged to crack down on illegal crossings, it pledged to give France £54million in return for further aid.

Interior Minister Priti Patel accepted the money during talks with French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

They pledged to step up security patrols, with French officers scouring wider areas on the north coast between Boulogne and Dunkirk, and to extend patrols further northwest around Dieppe.

The journey across the English Channel is dangerous



Drones and small planes will scan the coasts “to improve the coverage of the coasts of France in order to prevent attempts to cross”.

Ms Patel said: “The British people are simply fed up with illegal migration and the exploitation of migrants by criminal gangs.

“Illegal immigration is carried out by major organized criminals and smugglers.

“The public is rightly angry that small boats are coming to our shores, facilitated by appalling criminal gangs who profit from human misery and put lives at risk.”

But Bella Sankey, director of the charity Detention Action, said the government had lost “all credibility” in running a safe and fair asylum system.

She added: “Priti Patel can re-announce enhanced police cooperation with the French all day, every day.

“But until there is a political renegotiation to allow refugees a safe passage to seek asylum at the UK border in France, this relatively small number of desperate people will continue to risk everything for a chance at our protection.

“Ministers should stop playing fanciful politics and instead step in to protect lives.”

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