GANGS are smuggling migrants halfway across the Channel in fishing boats before dumping them in dinghies.
The criminals use the cover of French fishing trips to avoid drones which monitor crossings.
Small boats already inflated are hidden inside the fishing boats with the migrants and released in British waters.
Evidence seen by The Sun shows fishing boats leave Calais in the early hours, make a journey across the Channel, then spend around 15 minutes “still” — before returning back.
That is said to be enough time for the dinghy or inflatable boat to be released, the migrants placed on it and then “sent on their way”.
Sources say migrants have been seen arriving just hours later either emerging directly on beaches or being brought to shore by Home Office ships.
A source said: “This is becoming a big problem.
“The smuggling gang bosses know crossings have become more high-profile with greater security so this is a way to avoid recognition.
Crossing criminals jailed for 124 years
By Kate Ferguson
FIFTY “ruthless” people smugglers have been jailed this year alone for profiteering from misery.
The crooks were caged for a total of 124 years, the Home Office said.
Criminal gangs packed migrants — including small children — on to dangerously overcrowded dinghies to cross the Channel.
Others cashed in by hiding people in lorries as they made the crossing from Europe.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We are throwing the full force of the law at the organised crime gangs whose actions put desperate people in real danger.”
A record 7,200 migrants have reached the UK in small boats this year.
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“After two years of pressure, the authorities in France are finally stopping more leaving. But the feeling is the smugglers are one step ahead.
“Nobody is going to suspect a French fishing boat.
“The organised crime gangs have infiltrated them. They’re giving them cash.”
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