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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: An investigation by The Times newspaper has found Iranian traffickers promising an easy transition to British life for €2,500 ($2,900).
The online adverts claim that Iranians can expect high-paying jobs, among other things. The adverts have been placed on popular social media platforms, including Instagram, where European destinations are offered by the traffickers.
The discovery follows the deaths of a family of five in the English Channel this week. It is believed that they were Iranian Kurds who had paid traffickers for access to Britain.
Internet searches in Farsi reveal a vast range of people-smuggling services. One Instagram post from a trafficker said: “Best country for labor migration is the United Kingdom, where the average annual income is £65,537 ($84,838).”
Another advert says claiming asylum is easy in Britain, and the entire process can be completed in under three months.
An Iranian migrant in Britain, who asked to remain anonymous for his safety, told The Times that human traffickers are prolific in camps in northern France and currency exchange shops in London.
“Everyone knows who they are,” he said, adding that many of those involved in trafficking are responsible for other crimes, including sex offenses against female migrants.
Iran has regularly come under fire for its inability to sufficiently enforce its long northern border.
A report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime last year said border guards were regularly bribed to turn a blind eye to economic migrants and smuggling operators.
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