Amazon-style warehouse helping one in five migrants cross channel raked in £6million

amazon, amazon-style warehouse helping one in five migrants cross channel raked in £6million

THIS is the Amazon-style warehouse that helped one in five migrants cross the Channel last summer.

Gangsters who used the rusting green hangar to store boats and fuel made an estimated £6million from a mail order-type supply service helping to ship migrants to England.

amazon, amazon-style warehouse helping one in five migrants cross channel raked in £6million

A smuggling gang is estimated to have raked in millions from helping migrants cross the English ChannelCredit: AFP

amazon, amazon-style warehouse helping one in five migrants cross channel raked in £6million

The Sun On Sunday's Graeme Culliford visited the hangar used by the people smuggling gangCredit: Peter Jordan

amazon, amazon-style warehouse helping one in five migrants cross channel raked in £6million

Equipment was transported from outside France for smugglers to traffick migranrs

Still at large, they are said to have arranged transportation for thousands of migrants that have reached the UK this year.

The Sun on Sunday found the gang’s warehouse in a pot-holed road on the outskirts of Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, in northern France.

Twelve boats, 12 outboard motors, 700 life jackets, 108 air pumps and 700 litres of fuel were confiscated by police, who called it the “largest seizure of nautical equipment ever.”

When our reporter visited the hangar, there were few signs of the gang’s presence following the raid.

The only remnants of the operation were a pallet jack that could have been used to lift outboard motors and repair patches.

A court in Boulogne-sur-Mer, where five French nationals and one Iraqi were prosecuted for their part in the racket, heard it could be compared to the online firm Amazon given the logistics involved.

The court heard the gang would offer £70,000 Channel packages that included a boat, four cans of petrol, 40 life jackets and an inflator.

Around 30 people paying between £2,000 and £10,000 each would then use a single craft to make the crossing.

Europol sources said the crooks helped arrange for 2,600 migrants to attempt the journey across the Channel — 20 per cent of the total — but only 1,500 made it to England.

Much of the kit was sourced from Germany rather than France, where sales of rigid inflatable boats are banned in many places.

Stooges taking advantage of EU freedom of movement are paid £250 to drive them over from Germany.

The smuggling operation was only uncovered by chance when officers arrested driver Fares Seraiche, 20, in the Coquelles, close to the Channel Tunnel.

amazon, amazon-style warehouse helping one in five migrants cross channel raked in £6million

The remains of the smuggling equipment was still in the hangar after the police raidCredit: Peter Jordan

amazon, amazon-style warehouse helping one in five migrants cross channel raked in £6million

Patches to repair damage to inflatable boats were also sold to migrantsCredit: Peter Jordan

He was found with life jackets and other nautical equipment in his car.

Officers analysed his calls, which led them to the other smugglers.

The court heard Cherrine Réhimine, 29, and Gaye Ozkum, 23, would collect equipment from Germany and drive it through the Netherlands and Belgium to the hangar.

Their mobile phone data helped locate drivers including Alexander Penders and Ahmed Amine, both 21, who were also arrested and charged.

This month, the five were sentenced to between 18 months and five years’ jail.

The judge described the gang as “a well-run organisation” responsible for “20 per cent of migrants crossings this summer”.

A sixth alleged smuggler will go on trial in February.

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