Channel migrant deaths: Smugglers net millions per kilometre
FRANCE: The price to cross the English Channel varies according to the network of smugglers, between 3,000 and 7,000 euros ($3,380 and $8,000) though there are rumors of discounts.
Often, the fee also includes a very short-term tent rental in the windy dunes of northern France and food cooked over fires that sputter in the rain that falls for more than half the month of November in the Calais region. Sometimes, but not always, it includes a life vest and fuel for the outboard motor.
And the people who collect the money — up to 300,000 euros ($432,000) per boat that makes it across the narrows of the Channel — are not the ones arrested in the periodic raids along the coastline. They are just what French police call “the little hands.”
To cross the 33-kilometre (20-mile) narrow point of the Channel, the rubber dinghies must navigate frigid waters and passing cargo ships. As of November 17, 23,000 people had crossed successfully, according to Britain’s Home Office. France intercepted about 19,000 people. The leg through central Europe can cost around 4,000 euros ($4,500), according to Austrian authorities who on Saturday announced the arrest of 15 people suspected of smuggling Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian migrants into the country in vanloads of 12 to 15 people.
– JAPAN TODAY