A senior Libyan coastguard official told The Mail that aid agencies that claim to be helping refugees are actually using the money to pay traffickers to bring more bodies to Europe. The Libyan coast guard frequently catches these boats, and the official says they have evidence.
The official, Colonel Tarek Shanboor told the Daily Mail that he had obtained bank details and phone records that proved that charitable organizations were contacting human traffickers and paying their fare.
As relatives come to European shores, the contact these agencies and start telling them about family members left behind.
The Daily Mail reports:
Refugee charities are paying people smugglers to ferry migrants to their rescue boats patrolling off Libya, it was claimed last night.
A senior Libyan coastguard official told The Mail on Sunday he had evidence that aid agencies were stumping up cash for migrants desperate to reach Europe but who cannot afford to pay ruthless traffickers.
Colonel Tarek Shanboor said he had obtained bank details and phone records that proved the charities were making payments to criminal gangs who have put hundreds of thousands of migrants into unseaworthy boats – leading to thousands of deaths each year.
His claim will raise concern because there have long been fears that Islamic extremists could be among the migrants.
Charities patrolling off northern Africa claim they are only there to rescue migrants.
But Colonel Shanboor said aid agencies were now encouraging more and more migrants to make the perilous trip. He claimed he had handed evidence of collusion between charities and traffickers to EU border security officials in Brussels, though he refused to go into detail.
Speaking exclusively to the MoS he said: ‘The non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are adding to the crisis by actively encouraging increasing numbers of migrants. Now we have the evidence they are in cahoots with the smugglers. We have evidence the smugglers call the NGOs directly and there are business deals between them.’
Col Shanboor claimed charities were paying up £450 for each migrant’s passage. He believes their motives are well-meaning but misguided.
Col Shanboor’s extraordinary accusation comes just months after an internal EU report revealed charity officials in boats were in direct contact with migrant vessels and even gave them precise directions to find rescue vessels. This year has already seen record numbers of migrants attempting the perilous crossing from Libya to Lampedusa and Sicily, turning Italy into the front line of the crisis.