Rise in TikTok Ads Among Albanians Selling Smuggling Operations to UK

Anonymous accounts advertising transfers of people from Albania to the United Kingdom have spiked on TikTok using the route called English Channel, which smugglers are believed to use, according to media reports.

After reviewing dozens of accounts on TikTok, BIRN saw two kind of adverts: one for people who want to go to the UK from France on boats and the other for people crossing to the UK from Belgium in trucks. Prices published on the site range from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds sterling.

The advertisements comes from different TikTok accounts and offer different levels of engagement. Some publish the prices while others invite the public to contact them privately.

"…to England. 4,000 pounds. With boats. Every day", reads one of the posts.

"…to London. (It`s) 100% sure, no chances of failures. These are the best prices in the market", says another.

Another post advertising crossings to the UK in trucks says: "Departure for England in every two days. The best prices".

Some of the posts have more than 200 likes. Most of the accounts reviewed were created this year, some of them in July, while others were created in the beginning of the year. There are also accounts opened only a few hours ago. Most of the posts publish also dates of departures.

One of them reads: "Departures everyday, the next departure is tomorrow on 22 July. We can take families also. You come today and leave tomorrow. We are the first and the best (for boats)" adding that they give 100% guarantees for the crossing. The post has 2,706 likes and 52 comments.

A report by the British tabloid Daily Mail quoting UK military intelligence documents claims that four in 10 recent illegal migrants to Britain are from Albania.

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