Business, COVID-19 Noticeboard, Freight News, Logistics, Rail, Road, Sea

People-smuggling continues despite Covid, says TT Club

[ June 8, 2020   //   ]

Enhanced border control measures and travel restrictions during the Covid crisis have only temporarily shifted the focus or means of people smuggling, says insurer the TT Club.

It quotes a recent report by the European Migrant Smuggling Centre, part of Europol, which says that smugglers have been increasingly putting migrants in trucks and freight trains, along with using small boats to cross river borders and the English Channel.

Managing director, loss prevention Mike Yarwood said: “TT Club is warning of potential physical damage to cargoes, additional freight costs, vehicle and equipment detention, fines, penalties and reputational damage.”

Criminal organisations know that the simplest way to move people across international borders is to hide them in legitimate freight transport, he said.

Pre-COVID include the 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in a refrigerated road trailer last October and the discovery in March of 10 Eritreans in a shipping container in Hull.

Easing of ‘lockdown’ restrictions may further exacerbate the problems Yarwood continues: “It is likely that there are large numbers of people currently unable to move, who may want to cross to the UK and will attempt to as the restrictions on movement are lifted at first gradually and then fully.”

TT Club has collaborated BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions to publish a StopLoss briefing on Clandestine Migration. It details the measures that should be taken: specific training for drivers; precise security procedures; robust security devices to secure the vehicle, goods and cargo space; and practical measures before and during the packing process, and in transit.