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Migrant traffickers in Calais

Here is a text I put together based on a TV5monde report on migrant traffickers in Calais. I had not realised how much British criminal interests were involved.

On frenchteacher.net I added some questions to go with this text which is aimed at Y11-12 (high intermediate).


Parfois en réseaux structurées, parfois opérant à titre individuel, les passeurs de Calais dictent tous les mêmes règles aux migrants vers la Grande-Bretagne: des prix qui n’arrêtent pas d'augmenter, pour rétribuer les risques liés au renforcement constant des mesures de sécurité sur ce site-frontière.

Le combat contre ces filières criminelles de passeurs est un des objectifs de l’accord signé entre le ministre de l’Intérieur Bernard Cazeneuve et son homologue britannique Theresa May en août 2015.

Mais ces passeurs, il faut d’abord les identifier. « Nous avons le plus grand mal à faire la différence entre un migrant et un passeur. Ils se fondent parfaitement dans la masse », confie une source policière locale.

Postées à l'entrée du camp, les voitures de luxe immatriculées au Royaume-Uni sont preuves d'une organisation méticuleuse. « Dans ma ville les trois quarts des passeurs sont anglais », affirme le maire Franck Dhersin. L'argent serait blanchi, par exemple par les chefs de filière dans des boîtes de nuit anglaises.

Certains passeurs, les moins riches, opèrent à titre individuel, dans le but de financer leur propre passage. « Tout se monnaye: du contact téléphonique d'un autre passeur pour une dizaine d'euros au trou d'une cisaille dans un grillage pour 100-150 euros », explique un habitant du "New Jungle" qui abrite la plupart des 3.000 migrants estimés dans la région.

Cibles privilégiées des forces de l'ordre, particulièrement la nuit où les passeurs font monter les migrants dans les camions depuis des parkings, aires industrielles ou d'autoroutes, les filières plus organisées gagnent des sommes considérables.
Le voyage proposé depuis l'Albanie coûte entre 9.100 et 9.800 euros par personne.

Les prix varient selon l’offre - de 500 à 700 euros pour le passage d’Érythréens à partir de Calais jusqu'à 20.000 euros pour un voyage "all inclusive" depuis l'Asie via des réseaux vietnamiens avec avion et prise en charge de l'hébergement.
Les tarifs sont plus chers pour les Syriens, réputés plus riches: avocats, ingénieurs, médecins. Ils peuvent payer le double.

Les mesures de sécurisation à coups de fils barbelés, grilles de 4 m de haut et caméras de vidéosurveillance du port de Calais depuis début juin, ont cependant rendu le voyage de ce côté-ci presque impossible. Restait alors l'option tunnel sous la Manche mais, ici aussi, la sécurisation du site de 650 hectares et ses 28 kilomètres de clôture a été renforcée.

Les organisations criminelles s’y adaptent vite en proposant des formules de passage plus sûres mais de plus en plus chères.

Face à une sécurité accrue, certains réseaux commencent à abandonner Calais.
Un nombre croissant de migrants sont chargés loin de la cité portuaire, parfois dès la sortie de Paris mais aussi dès la Belgique ou les Pays-Bas.

Et de nouvelles pistes mènent notamment vers le port de Zeebruge dans la Belgique voisine. « Un petit afflux" est également observé du côté de Ouistreham (Calvados), sur la côte normande, d'après le maire Romain Bail, qui se dit « très attentif ».

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