Fresh eyes are being drawn to clandestine people smuggling operations to the UK by way of Dublin, with the Telegraph mapping out the process for their British audience.
Advertised extensively over TikTok and substantially less than through the English Channel route, £2,500 rather than £5,000, the journey into the UK involves flying into Dublin Airport usually on a fake passport, falsely claiming asylum and finally ferrying up North and into British jurisdiction.
Managed by an underground nexus of Irish based Albanian mobsters, the process is sure to irk UK authorities currently grappling with a wave of largely Balkan migrants hitching a lift with the RNLI.
Alleged to occur every day, Albanians arriving into Ireland according to Telegraph reporting are instructed to ‘make a big noise’ at the asylum desk, after which they are free to go as they please, normally into a taxicab or bus to Belfast.
A nationality already notorious for abusing Irish asylum laws, in July Albanian Direct Provision resident and gangster Ndricim Qema was nabbed for facilitating people smuggling operations out of Ireland.
Sourcing fake documentation under orders of his high ranking underworld father, Qema was jailed as part of a joint operation between the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and the UK’s Home Office under the auspices of Europol. Domiciled at the Esplanade Hotel, Bray since 2018, Qema pleaded guilty to various counts of money laundering and people smuggling.
Arranging flights and forged Italian papers at a cost of €5,000 to €10,000, arrivals would dump documentation on coming to Dublin Airport, claim asylum and subsequently travel to Belfast normally by taxi.
With lax border security and a geopolitical fact that we straddle UK and EU jurisdictions, Ireland’s long cherished Common Travel Area is increasingly becoming a highway to circumvent British migration policy.
Soft border control at Dublin Airport could very well make Ireland Britain’s equivalent of Spain’s Ceuta as a trafficking hub into the UK. A further indictment of the state’s weak asylum policy, we can only count ourselves lucky that Albanian gangs are directing their energies elsewhere considering the role they play in narcotics trafficking and pimping in the UK.
A product of state failure at home as well as an ingrained clann culture going back to the Turkic occupation, the Albanian mafia play a major role in European criminality, largely considered to be kingpins in the UK drug market.
Despite some token migration, an extraordinary amount of bogus asylum claims, Albanian criminality has not printed itself on Irish society, largely due to the extent that Ireland fits into their business model as just a transit point into the UK.
Recently however, a report commissioned by the British Embassy registered the fact that this scenario may be changing as Albanian gangs contemplate a more aggressive approach to the Irish drug market.
Quoting from the author of the report Dr Alexander Chance,
“There’s a possibility that non-Irish organised crime groups may look to take a greater share, even perhaps dominance, of the cocaine market in Ireland, and possibly Northern Ireland, through underselling, undercutting existing suppliers with high-purity products, as has happened with Albanian groups in the UK,”
If Gardaí were left breathless dealing with the Kinahans and Hutches how will they fare with an internationalised, ingrained gang culture from the hills of Albania. The respite now being felt across the country as the Kinahan cartel is mopped up may be truncated by this lapse in border security. What Tirana can do to Irish streets may be a lot more impactful than anything that arose in Walkinstown or Cabra.
Should the problem fester further, the scuttling of the Common Travel Area by a jingoistic Tory government seeking to at least pay lip service to border security is not entirely off the cards. If the Ukrainian crisis hasn’t already the current order is bound to get an awaited kick in the shins over asylum.
The Tory party famously seeks to subsume Ireland with its internal power plays and one could well imagine a future Johnson/Truss administration turning the screws on Dublin propelled by their popular press.
Years of Sorcha Pollak polemics, lethargic border management and blind ignorance to the asylum industry have opened the door just enough for Albanian and foreign criminals to prosper. Populists can bang the table as much as they want but the tectonics of economic power may move faster to close down the asylum route than we can imagine.