London ‘middle-men’ are charging people traffickers to smuggle illegal migrants across the Channel


London based middlemen are charging up to £500 per person to act as ‘guarantors’ to facilitate the entry of illegal migrants into the United Kingdom, according to a new undercover documentary.

These UK based brokers, some of whom pose as legitimate businessmen withhold the funds paid by the migrants and only release the cash to the people smugglers once they are safely in the UK.]


The system is to try and ensure that those trying to enter the United Kingdom illegal are not ‘scammed’ by the apparent people smugglers.

The illegal migrants are usually paying around £3,500 to the smugglers for help with illegal entry into the United Kingdom, with these UK based brokers taking around £300-£500 to act as a guarantor for the transaction.

Details of the underground industry was revelled in an ITV documentary shown on Thursday which highlighted how easy it was for people to make the illegal crossing into the United Kingdom.

In the documentary, undercover journalists, posing as migrants first made contact with an alleged trafficker who claimed to be based in Serbia.

Following this, the reporters were put in touch with a London based broker who claimed to run a currency exchange business in west London.

The broker asked the migrants’ family to pay him £3,500, which he explained he would hold until the person had been safely delivered.

He told the reporters: “You pay me cash or you want to put it into an account and then I will confirm it…and then soon the person is come over after one or two days when you know he’s in that’s it finish, I will release the money.”

When questioned what happened if the illegal migrant did not arrive safely, he replied: “No money released. And if you cancel the job I will give you your money back as well.”

The undercover team made contact with four separate London based brokers who all allegedly worked for Iranian smuggling gangs.

Tom Stone, the producer of the ITV documentary, Hunting The People Smugglers, said: “The brokers are the financial glue behind almost every crossing. They make the passenger feel they can trust the smuggler because they are told the money won’t be released unless they get here safely.

“They also help the smuggler appear professional and trustworthy when, in truth, the entire process is incredibly dangerous and the passengers are putting their lives in the hands of gangsters.”

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