According to the National Crime Agency, people are trying to smuggle migrants by using inflatable dinghies made with plywood floors that have been held together with gaffer taper in order transport them across the Channel.

According to national law enforcement agencies, gangs have turned to more dangerous boats and less stable vessels to transport desperate refugee refugees to the UK.

Recently, inflatables larger than 30ft have been used in cruel human trading.

Investigators suspect that many large, unbranded grey and black vessels are not used commercially or were made for people smugglers.

Others boats can also be adapted using less-than-standard materials to improve their stability and carry more people.

After more than 26,000 immigrants arrived in Britain between the start and end of 2019, compared to just 8,410 during 2020, the warning was issued.

The National Crime Agency has warned that inflatable dinghies are being custom made for people smuggling gangs to transport as many people across the Channel as possible. Pictured, migrants on the beach at Dungeness, south east England on November 24

National Crime Agency warns that inflatable dinghies were custom-made to allow people smuggling groups to move as many people through the Channel. Photographed: migrants at Dungeness in south-east England, November 24, 2018.

Boats have been found with plywood floors and held together with gaffer tape in an attempt to sneak desperate refugees across to the UK

To help desperate refugees, boat owners have found plywood floors that are held in place with gaffer tape. 

The National Crime Agency shared pictures of boats with wooden floors and held together with tape. The boats had been seized after transporting migrants across the Channel

National Crime Agency sent photos showing boats covered with wood floors that are held in place with tape. These boats were taken after being used to transport migrants through the Channel. 

The numbers of migrants arriving in the UK by boat has more than tripled from last year's numbers and is now above 26,000

The number of immigrants arriving by boat in the UK has tripled since last year and stands at more than 26,000

At least 27 migrants were killed in Calais’ worst crisis since the Channel crisis when their inflatable boat burst.

The two sole survivors – an Iraqi and a Somalian – told police their poorly made dinghy was hit by a container ship, puncturing its thin rubber hull. 

In the days preceding the tragedy several boats similar to this were intercepted. These boats were held together by gaffer tape.

The NCA stated that one had a plywood floor while the other was held together by a tyre tube flotation. 

This year, at least 14 people died trying to cross the Channel. 

The passengers were swept into the ocean by the fragile plastic bottom of one vessel during a Channel crossing attempt in July. According to the NCA, they were safely rescued by Border Force boats.  

Authorities have warned that people are being smuggled by gangs using unseaworthy and more dangerous boats. They’ve been called “death traps”

Seven women drowned last month in Calais, including one woman who was pregnant with three children.

According to the International Organisation for Migrations, it is the largest single death in Channel history since 2014.

Paris and London fought over the deaths, blaming each other for failing to prevent Channel crossings.

The tragedy came just weeks after Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill was launched, proposing a crackdown on migrant crossings and turning boats back towards France.

Last month, the NCA issued an Interpol Alert to international law enforcement to alert them to these potentially dangerous vessels.

Another boat found with wooden flooring and held together with gaffer tape. The NCA believes the boats are designed to help people smugglers transport as many migrants as possible across the Channel

A second boat with wooden floors was also found and secured with gaffer tape. NCA believe the boats have been designed to assist people smugglers move as many migrants through the Channel as possible. 

Authorities believe the boats found by the NCA and Border Force have been made specifically by manufacturers to be used by criminal gangs smuggling people across the Channel

The Border Force and NCA believe that the boats discovered by Border Force and the NCA were made to be used in smuggling operations across the Channel by criminal gangs.

Dozens of migrants were rescued from the English Channel amid rough seas and brought to Britain on December 4

Dozens upon dozens of migrants were saved from rough waters by the English Channel and brought to Britain on December 4.

Martin Grace is the head of organized immigration crime operations at the NCA. He stated: “It’s clear that some boats are being used, there is very little, if any, genuine commercial use.

They are being sold online to sell them for people smuggling.

According to the NCA, a large percentage of Channel Crossings attempted are still being facilitated by organized criminal gangs. Some operate a more sophisticated network while others have less experience.

The NCA and French police joined forces in November to take down a boat gang that was capable of carrying between 40-60 people.

This group also recruited migrants from northern France camps to take part in dangerous boats.

The NCA stated that 18 persons were detained in France’s Calais, Le Havre, and Paris areas.

How do migrants get settled in the UK after arriving? 

After landing, or being intercepted by sea, migrants are picked up and taken to the Border Force processing center. This is usually located near Dover. 

The arrivals receive a triage to determine any vulnerabilities or medical conditions, are fed, and checked for criminal history. After an initial interview, adults are sent to an accommodation center in Britain. The centre is funded by UK taxpayers. It is also provided by private contractors.

The migrants are given £37.75 per week for essentials like food, clothes and toiletries while they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Kent County Council typically takes unaccompanied children into care. But, there are other local authorities involved.

Others might remain in detention before being sent back to Europe. Five were expelled last year, despite ministers admitting to having ‘difficulties. 

While a member of the EU, Britain was part of the Dublin Regulation, an EU-wide deal that required migrants to apply for asylum in the first member state they arrive in and could be deported back to that country if they moved on to another.

However, there have been no official arrangements for migrants being deported to France and other EU countries since Brexit.  

Dan O’Mahoney, Home Office clandestine Channel threat commander, said: ‘The recent tragedy in the Channel is a devastating reminder of the dangers of Channel crossings choreographed by organised crime groups who are profiteering from these deadly and unnecessary Channel crossings.

“We collaborate closely with international and European partners, police and other agencies, every day to capture, investigate, and prosecute organized criminals. This prevents many departures and saves lives.

“But this is complicated and we are determined that we will do everything we can with the NCA in order to combat criminal gangs, and to prevent more loss of lives.

There are approximately 50 investigations underway by the NCA in connection to top-tier immigration crimes. Since the beginning of the year, more than 140 arrests have been made.

Grace stated that while the deaths of at least 27 people last month were tragic, it wasn’t surprising when one considers the type of boats people were put into. These boats are death traps, to be honest.

“Add that to the growing crowding on the vessels and the colder weather to make it even more dangerous.

‘It demonstrates further to us that the people smugglers involved in these crossings don’t care about the wellbeing of those they put on the boats. They don’t care if they die. They want money and they don’t care if it happens.

“I also want to reiterate the appeal we made earlier this year to all those in the maritime sector, here in the UK as well on the Continent.

“Please remain alert and report any suspicions regarding the purchase of these items.

Smugglers may be buying inflatables from shops. This could include unusual combinations of equipment and boats, large cash payments and suspicious transactions.

The NCA stated that customers who ask about bulk purchasing equipment, such as life jackets, or repeatedly buying boats and equipment from the same store are suspicious.

The NCA stated that buyers shouldn’t be concerned about how the equipment or boat is being used.

Customers who are able to finish their purchase and have the vessel collected as soon as possible or online buyers that travel to the location to get the boat, in addition to those who do not give a shipping address, were also suspects according to the NCA.