British report Guardian reveals the cooperation of Greek and German traders with Turkish smugglers transporting people from France to Britain and from Turkey to Greece.
According to GUARDIAN, Germany and Greece are the main customers of Chinese inflatable boat manufacturing and distribution companies. The article follows the journey of an inflatable boat from the factory to Dunkirk in France and the coast of Calais in the UK.
British border guards examine an inflatable boat abandoned on a beach after migrants used it to cross the English Channel in Walmer, Kent. Photograph: Dan Kitwood / Getty
According to the same report, most of the boats on the English Channel have the same manufacturer’s label, which is a German company importing such boats from France. The newspaper’s investigation was directed at both the British authorities and the German company, which says it cannot confirm the purpose of purchasing one of the products it sells.
The main conclusion of the authors of the investigation is that Greek companies are selling Chinese “inflatable boats of death” to Turkish smugglers.
The British newspaper also reached out to the Chinese e-commerce giant AliBaba.com, whose English-language website until recently sold merchandise describing “refugee boats.” The company claims to have banned the use of this description, but similar products can still be found by searching its website for this information.
A group of migrants run along the beach with an inflatable boat near Vimereux, France. Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
GUARDIAN confirms in its research that until recently there was at least one advertisement with the description: “GTS800 15 people, 6.5 meter inflatable boat for refugees with 60 cm diameter air chambers”. The production company is located in Qingdao and is called … Goethe (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet).
In response to a question from a British newspaper, a Chinese industry spokesman said 70% to 80% of his company’s sales this year were in Europe and mainly in Germany and Greece. He even said that orders from Turkey had stopped as the Turkish government blocked imports of inflatable boats from China.
Marvin Reiter, owner of a German inflatable boat company, said that buyers who bought inflatable boats made in China did so “legally” and took them away by car like everyone else. Reuters said he was “disappointed” after German police said his inflatable boats, each costing around £ 2,000, were being used by migrants to try to cross from France to the UK. “I feel terrible about what these bad guys are doing to my boats,” he said.
According to the same publication, Greece and Germany are the main centers for the sale of inflatable boats, as evidenced by the intense activity of smugglers. From Germany inflatable boats go to the English Channel, and from Greece to Turkey.
An inflatable boat carrying men, women and children crosses the shipping lane in the English Channel off the coast of Dover. Photograph: Dan Kitwood / Getty
It is no coincidence that these two countries are the main base or headquarters of non-governmental organizations, some of which in recent years have proven their assistance in the slave trade from Asia and Africa to the member states of the European Union.
How difficult will it be for the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, the Ministry of Development and the Greek law enforcement agencies to investigate which companies, authorities or individuals are ordering inflatable boats from China? Undoubtedly, such an investigation will lead to smugglers, whom the government unsuccessfully “searched” for all these years.
Because inflatable “death articles” are usually imported by companies that are probably based in Greece. The recipients of these boats are likely to cooperate with the smugglers to whom they supply imported inflatable craft. They are very easy to find if there is political will …
PS The British traditionally cheated, “forgetting” to mention that the majority of NGOs working in Greece have British registration, which means they are financed from there. Tradition, however …