‘English mafia’ involved in migrant trafficking, says French mayor


A French mayor says ‘English mafia’ is involved in trafficking people into the UK from migrant camps in northern France.

Franck Dhersin, the mayor of Téteghem, claims UK-registered cars were often spotted near a camp on the outskirt of Dunkirk, a commune in the Nord department. He said that those who complain about migrants do not realize “the cars are English and the owners are English”.

British media has also recently reported cars with UK number plates roaming in areas currently struggling with migrants crises. BBC quoted a Syrian migrant as saying that he spent £15,000 so far on trying to reach the UK. The man revealed that he paid £12,000 on getting from Syria to France and a further £3,000 on trying to cross the Channel.

According to the French Mayor, Teteghem camp which is a few miles away from Dunkirk is facing similar situation with traffickers often turning violent. He narrated an incident when a suspected trafficker showed him a gun and threatened to rape a reporter he had accompanied.

Earlier this week, Mike Hookem, a member of European parliament from the UK Independence Party said he was threatened with a handgun while he was on a visit to Calais area to assess the risks faced by lorry drivers.

The Calais area is at the center of an ongoing migrant crisis where more than 1,000 attempted to enter the Channel Tunnel entrance earlier this month. Many of the Calais migrants try to board lorries and scale fences every night to gain entry to the Channel Tunnel. At least nine people have died since the crisis began.