MIGRANTS are being smuggled across the Channel for as little as £400-a-head, a Sun on Sunday probe has found.
Traffickers have slashed rates by almost 10,000 per cent with “cut-price Covid crossings”, we can reveal.
Migrants attempt to cross the Channel to the UK on a small boatCredit: PA:Press Association
Experts say the gang masters are even introducing “sweeteners” like “kids go free” offers to persuade parents to board boats.
They also lure migrants by saying the UK has “wonderful, sunny weather” and an average annual wage of £65,000 — almost £40,000 more than the reality.
Rob Richardson, head of the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit at the National Crime Agency, said: “We are seeing costs ranging from £20,000 to £400. Thousands of people from across the world are being exploited in conditions of slavery here in the UK.”
Our exclusive figures show 5,080 new slavery victims were identified in the first six months of this year — nearly 30 a day.
And, last year, there were 10,627 slavery referrals compared to 2,399 in 2014 — a rise of 350 per cent.
There were 5,144 modern slavery offences recorded by the police in England and Wales in the year ending March 2019, an increase of 51 per cent from the previous year.
The findings come days after Kurdish-Iranians Rasoul Iran-Nejad and Shiva Mohammad Panahi, both 35, died alongside their children Anita, nine, and Armin, six, while trying to cross the Channel. Their 15-month-old baby remains missing.
The Home Office said: “This year, we have put 52 people smugglers behind bars, with two in the last week alone.”
Migrants are being lured with cut-price packages by smuggling gangsCredit: PA:Press Association
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