Report: Immigrants smuggled out of Britain

Jan. 22, 2013 at 12:52 AM

LONDON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Illegal immigrants who want to stay in the European Union or escape the British police are being smuggled to France by criminal gangs, the BBC reports.

In a story broadcast Monday on the Panorama program, the BBC said a reporter posing as an immigrant from Moldova negotiated a price of 1,500 pounds ($2,377) for a trip to the French port of Calais in the back of a truck. The reporter said he was told three or four other immigrants would be making the journey and the gang ran two or three trips a week.

The man who arranged the trip also said smuggling illegal immigrants out of Britain is considerably easier than bringing them into the country.

The reporter said he and another man were driven around London for about 2 hours before making a rendezvous with a second car that was to drive them to the truck. The reporter said his fellow-passenger, an Indian, told him he wanted to go to Spain because of the constant demand for documents in Britain.

Mark Harper, the minister for immigration, said Britain is trying to stop the gangs.

"One of the things we do with our colleagues in other, both EU countries and non-EU countries, is work closely internationally to try and crack down on these gangs who are committing organized immigration crime and preying on some of these vulnerable people," Harper said.

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