The emotion does not fall in the United Kingdom, two days after the macabre discovery of 39 bodies lifeless in a refrigerated truck. The remains were found in Grays, in an industrial area near London, in a truck that came from Belgium. According to the first elements of the investigation, these people were all Chinese nationals. The circumstances of the tragedy have not yet been clarified, but it reminds another: in June 2000, 58 Chinese illegal immigrants had lost their lives, found asphyxiated in a truck in the port of Dover.
If the hypothesis of a network of migrant smugglers is confirmed, it would shed a harsh light on these criminal organizations. Guest of the morning of Europe 1, the specialist of serious crime Fabrice Rizzoli decrypts these networks at the microphone of Matthieu Belliard. Co-founder of the Crim'HALT association, he identifies two categories of networks: "there is the smuggling of migrants, that is to say the fact of crossing a border with migrants, and the trafficking of human beings, the enslavement of people, sex work, "he enumerates.
From smugglers to human traffickers
Within the smuggling networks of migrants, this doctor of political science distinguishes "criminal organizations, which often make 'packages' from the beginning to the end of the trip" or "smugglers who are only part of the border, with migrants who pay to go from Iraq to Turkey, then from Turkey to Greece "and so on, without a" completely constituted chain ". The "Chinese, Nigerian and sometimes Albanian organizations" are the main criminal organizations in Europe according to him.
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The cases are therefore very varied. Sometimes "a whole village collects" to "send migrants who will then send money back". Sometimes the situation of exiles is a human trafficking. "Criminal organizations are not tender at all, says Fabrice Rizzoli, they put the migrants in trucks, then they have to pay back, and we smuggle smugglers of migrants to human trafficking." And to quote the example of the Nigerians: "they go into debt for $ 50,000 and then have to prostitute themselves for ten years to pay back".
About this truck of horror found in Grays, the specialist of serious crime is challenged by the testimony of a taxi driver who saw trucks drop migrants to this place. The exiles had, then, no referent. These situations where migrants have to fend for themselves once they cross the border are commonplace. These are configurations with "a criminal organization where no one gets wet".
A link between migration policies and networks
Is it necessary to conclude that these networks of smugglers control European migration policies? Fabrice Rizzoli leans rather for the opposite idea. "I have the impression that it is the migration policies that feed the smugglers," he says, "that's what the NGOs denounce." For him, "there is a battle between the partisans of open borders and the partisans of a more closed policy". He explains that strengthening border control makes migration more complicated, more expensive, and encourages exile candidates to resort to smugglers. And to recall "that about ten thousand people died at sea, between Libya and Italy", in 20 years.
To argue this link between migration policies and networks, Fabrice Rizzoli quotes an Italian example. "Before, the migrants passed smoothly in Italy," he says.One day, Silvio Berlusconi wanted to tighten the screw.Everyone arrived in camps, it created the bazaar and this allowed Berlusconi to say to Italians: 'see, migrants create bazaar'. "