Express. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. HOME News Royal Showbiz & TV Sport Comment Finance Travel Entertainment Life & Style UK Politics Royal US World Science Weather Weird History Nature Sunday InYourArea The fire sale has reportedly been sparked by a lack of Albanians seeking to make the illegal crossing into the UK from France. 21:15, Tue, Sep 19, 2023 | UPDATED: 21:26, Tue, Sep 19, 2023
People smugglers are seeing less Albanians try and cross (Image: Getty )
Market forces have hit migrant boat crossings with people smugglers offering ‘more than half price’ deals to asylum seekers after a drop in demand from Albanians.
The Kurdish gangs are understood to have dropped the average price for a place on one of the unsafe overcrowded deathtrap vessels from £3,500 to £1,500.
According to the Telegraph the number of Albanians seeking to make the clandestine crossing has dropped by 90 per cent after the UK agreed a fast-track deportation deal.
Albania is not at war and is bordered by the safety of the EU with a relatively buoyant national economy, however large numbers of citizens had been heading to the UK.
But since a crackdown by the Government it’s understood some 3,529 migrants from the Balkan state have been deported back to Albania since December.
An RNLI boat rescues some migrants (Image: Getty )
Some 12,301 Albanians arrived in the UK on small boats last year, fuelling fears organised crime groups were bringing over new recruits.
Many vanished from hotels to work in the UK’s ‘black economy’, for example on building sites, while some were brought over to work in cannabis farms.
Incredible despite Albania not being a country in any strife, the citizens of that nation accounted for a quarter of illegal migrants entering Britain across the Channel last year.
The Telegraph reports despite increases in numbers from Afghanistan, Turkey and India, adverts for crossings on Instagram are now offering lower fares.
The paper reports one ad on the social media channel came with the headline: “France’s route to the United Kingdom. Value of a person £1,500.”
Lessening demand and bigger boats are thought to be behind the price cut (Image: Getty )
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People traffickers are also trying to increase profits with larger boats carrying around 50 people at a time, which means they can charge less per seat, while still boosting their profits.
Speaking to Express.co.uk about the drop in numbers from Albania, a Government source said: “Whilst Labour bang on about returning to the broken Dublin Convention – which saw us regularly take back more people than we returned – this Conservative Government has delivered a gold-standard returns agreement with Albania to create the crucial deterrent effect to stop small boat crossings.”
A total of 499 people arrived across the three-day spell from Friday to Sunday with 234 people arriving in five boats on Friday alone. Saturday saw 209 migrants across four dinghies arrive on British shores.
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