Migrant trafficking: the trial of ‘Mr Average’ caught smuggling dinghy and life jackets to the French coast

By

On August 22nd, a total of 1,295 migrants landed on the shores of southern England from France, a record daily figure, bringing the number of people who have made the same perilous crossing of the Channel so far this year to more than 22,500. Migrant smuggling gangs typically demand 3,000 euros per person for a place on the flimsy dinghies and key to the logistics of these networks are ‘mules’ who transport the boats and equipment, often from Germany, to the French coast. Camille Polloni travelled to the northern French city of Lille to follow the trial last week of one of them, whose lawyer said he was a “Mister average who works every day”.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

On August 19th, Maher F. (last name withheld), a 38-year-old Syrian who holds German nationality, appeared before the central court in Lille, northern France, after he had been caught transporting equipment for a criminal gang smuggling migrants across the Channel to southern England.