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Channel deaths: people smugglers openly advertise on Facebook | british news

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Adverts offering 'guaranteed' routes into the UK are being posted online

Finding a route across the canal is as easy as typing “smuggler” on Facebook.

Far from being a hidden world, Sky News has discovered that a network of smugglers is openly operating on the social media platform.

Advertisements are regularly placed of routes to Europe and the United Kingdom with images of the Union Jack and Big Ben.

One smuggler even claimed he could make customers a British passport.

It comes when 27 people died while attempt to cross the Channel, one of the worst death tolls in recent years.

Discussions on the best ways to cross the channel also take place on Facebook
Image:
Discussions on the best ways to cross the channel also take place on Facebook

Many who try the crossing come from Iran, Syria and Iraq, with large numbers of Iraqi Kurds trying to make the perilous journey.

Sky News searched Facebook for terms written in Kurdish and Arabic, such as “smuggler” and “UK visa”, as well as locations such as Calais, Dunkirk and England.

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These results produced advertisements of smugglers listing their phone numbers and inviting people to private message them for more information, such as costs.

This post claims that customers will be able to legally travel to the UK within three days and that the journey will be done in the “best, safest and easiest way”.

Smugglers place ads on Facebook, like this one with a phone number
Image:
Smugglers place ads on Facebook, like this one with a phone number

One of the most prolific smugglers to post on Facebook is a man who claims to live in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

He claims to be able to get migrants to a number of countries, including the UK. In this advertisement he promotes a route from Dunkirk to the UK at “a reasonable price”.

This advertisement, which also includes a phone number, offers a number of routes such as Dunkirk to the UK
Image:
This advertisement, which also includes a phone number, offers a number of routes such as Dunkirk to the UK

On his Facebook profile, he describes himself as someone who “puts trust over profit”. His cover photo – a photo at the top of the page – is of a passport and boarding pass.

"Trust before profit"  is written in the "intro"  part of this smuggler's profile
Image:
‘Trust before profit’ is in the ‘intro’ part of this smuggler’s profile

He often posts multiple ads a week, many with the same wording. In his advertisements, he claims to offer guarantees and to deliver “the lowest price and the shortest time”.

Many of the ads are copied and pasted on different pages
Image:
Many of the ads are copied and pasted on different pages

To encourage potential customers, the smuggler has hung up a number of passports and visas that he claims to have secured.

A smuggler has uploaded a number of passports and visas that he claims have secured for other migrants
Image:
A smuggler has uploaded a number of passports and visas that he claims have secured for other migrants

Like many smugglers on the platform, he uses photos of landmarks to get people’s attention.

Smugglers often post photos of famous European landmarks in their advertisements
Image:
Smugglers often post photos of famous European landmarks in their advertisements

Here, another smuggler places his ad alongside photos of the Union Jack and Big Ben. In his post, he claims he can “make you a UK passport”.

This smuggler claims he can 'make you a British passport'
Image:
This smuggler claims he can ‘make you a British passport’

His offerings are striking, with 210 people liking the post and nearly 30 comments below it.

“Hello brother, I want to talk to you”, writes one man. “My dear brother, inbox me,” the smuggler writes back, inviting him to send him a direct private message.

Depictions of aircraft of European flag bearers are also used.

In addition to landmarks, photos of flagship aircraft such as British Airways and Air France are also part of the advertisements
Image:
In addition to landmarks, photos of flagship aircraft such as British Airways and Air France are also part of the advertisements. There is no indication that airlines are involved in helping the smugglers

In this ad, a smuggler shows both British Airways and Air France aircraft. The last image in his post contains a phone number to call. The airlines’ photos are being used without permission and there is no indication that British Airways or Air France know of the images being used in this way.

Some advertisements do not rely on promises, guarantees and glossy images from the UK. A smuggler simply posts that he can bring people from France to Britain and gives a number.

Those who want to be smuggled use the platform to ask questions, including about the costs
Image:
Those who want to be smuggled use the platform to ask questions, including about the costs

Many ads are placed on pages that are primarily used for other reasons, ranging from general community pages to electronics store pages.

However, some pages are specifically set up to discuss smuggling and attract people looking to enter the UK and elsewhere.

An example of this is a group page called “Smuggling to Europe with warranty”. The profile and cover photo are images of migrants taken from news sites. It has nearly 800 members.

The name of this page, which has nearly 800 members, is 'Smuggling to Europe with warranty'
Image:
The name of this page, which has nearly 800 members, is ‘Smuggling to Europe with warranty’

One of the most recent posts on the page, published on Nov. 10, concerns a video of migrants in Dunkirk, France.

Another video shared on these pages features a video from the TikTok social media app. It shows part of the journey between Calais and the UK.

One of the pages also shared a TikTok video about the Calais to France crossing
Image:
One of the pages also shared a TikTok video about the Calais to France crossing

It’s not just smugglers posting ads. People ask questions about costs and routes. They also share news about other migrant crossings.

A man asks if he can enter Britain with a German visa. A profile that appears to belong to a smuggler replies that it wouldn’t work. The first man adds that if a person can get to Germany, they could try to get to the UK “on foot”.

Routes through Europe are also discussed
Image:
Routes through Europe are also discussed

Another man asks how much it costs to enter Britain.

Those who want to be smuggled use the platform to ask questions, including about the costs
Image:
Those who want to be smuggled use the platform to ask questions, including about the costs

Another shared the news of the large number of migrants who died on Wednesday.

News of the deaths on Wednesday was shared widely on a number of migrant pages
Image:
News of the deaths on Wednesday was shared widely on a number of migrant pages

Five months ago, Priti Patel wrote to social media companies including Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. She said more should be done to remove posts that “glamorising” dangerous crossings for migrants.

A spokesperson for Meta, owner of Facebook, told Sky News: “Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these tragic events.

“Coordinating people smuggling is not allowed on Facebook and we are working with law enforcement to tackle it.

“We use a combination of AI technology, human assessments and reports from our users and trusted partners to detect and remove these types of messages.”

Sky News understands that the pages brought to Facebook’s attention are now under investigation and will be removed if they are found to have violated the platform’s policies.


The Data and forensics team is a multi-faceted unit dedicated to providing Sky News transparent journalism. We collect, analyze and visualize data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite imagery, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we want to better explain the world and at the same time show how our journalism works.

Why data journalism is important to Sky News

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How a kid cracked YouTube’s secret code

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In 2016, young YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson dropped out of college to try to solve how a video is going viral on YouTube.

In the fall of 2016, Jimmy Donaldson dropped out of college to solve one of media’s biggest mysteries: How exactly does a video go viral on YouTube? Donaldson, then 18, had been posting to the site since he was 12 without garnering much of an audience. But he was convinced that he was almost unlocking the secrets of the YouTube algorithm, the black box of rules and processes that determines which videos are recommended to viewers.

In the months that followed, Donaldson and a handful of his friends tried to crack the code. They made daily phone calls to analyze which videos went viral. They gave each other YouTube-related homework assignments and they teased successful channels for data on their most successful posts. “I woke up, I studied YouTube, I studied videos, I studied filmmaking, I went to bed and that was my life,” Donaldson recalled in a recent interview.

In 2016, young YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson dropped out of college to try to solve how a video is going viral on YouTube.

One day he got an idea for a video that he was sure would work. It was as simple as counting. Donaldson sat down in a chair and muttered one song after another for the next 40 hours, starting at zero and going up to 100,000. At the end of the exhausting stunt, he looked frantically into the camera. “What am I doing with my life?” he said.

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Sikkim State Lottery Best SOFT morning results

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lottery sambad, sikkim lottery results

Sikkim’s ‘Dear Gentle Morning’ lottery is a popular weekly lottery. The face value of the ticket is ₹6. The first prize is ₹50 lakhs. The second prize is ₹9,000. The third prize is 500, the 4th prize is ₹250 and the 5th prize is 120 and will be given to the holders of tickets with matching serial numbers.

In addition to these prizes, there is a consolation prize of 1,000. The draw of the weekly ‘Dear Gentle Morning’ lottery on Saturday will be announced at 11:55 AM.

Sikkim state lottery results for December 5, 2021

The latest Sikkim Lottery results for today have been updated on the official website which is http://www.sikkimlotteries.com/.

The seven weekly competitions organized by Sikkim Lottery are:

Sikkim Lottery – ‘Dear Loving Morning’ – It is held every Monday morning and the results are announced at 11:55am. The value of the first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

Sikkim Lottery – ‘Best Sincere Morning’ – It is held every Tuesday morning and the results are announced at 11:55 AM. The value of the first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

Sikkim Lottery – ‘Dear Faithful Morning’ – It is held every Wednesday morning and the results are announced at 11:55am. The value of the first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

Sikkim Lottery – ‘Dear Kind Morning’ – It is held every Thursday morning and the results are announced at 11:55am. The value of the first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

Sikkim Lottery – ‘Dear Tender Morning’ – It is held every Friday morning and the results are announced at 11:55am. The value of the first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

Sikkim Lottery – ‘Dear Gentle Morning’ – It is held every Saturday morning and the results are announced at 11:55am. The value of the first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

Sikkim Lottery – ‘Best Affectionate Morning’ – It is held every Sunday morning and the results will be announced at 11:55 AM. The value of the first prize is ₹50 Lakh

The prize structure of the Sikkim State Lottery Sambad

The cost of one ticket is 6. The winner of the first prize can claim ₹50 lakhs. The second prize holder can claim 9,000, the third prize holder can claim 500, while the 4th prize holder can claim ₹250. There is also the 5th prize, where the winner can claim an amount of 120. a consolation prize of ₹1000 given to multiple participants. The latest Sikkim Lottery results for today have been updated at 11:55 am on the official website which is http://www.sikkimlotteries.com/.

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Ollie Robinson inspired by Flintoff’s Ashes tourists, but with a different result

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Ollie Robinson inspired by Flintoff's Ashes tourists, but with a different result
Ollie Robinson is inspired by memories of watching the Ashes from the stands (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)

Ollie Robinson is inspired by memories of watching the Ashes from the stands (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)

Ollie Robinson caught the Ashes bug after Andrew Flintoff’s England team around Australia as a teenager, but is convinced that he can deliver a different result this time.

Robinson, who is inked to take the field in the series opener in Brisbane on Wednesday, took an extended Christmas break from his private school Canterbury to travel Down Under for the 2006-07 game.

A 5-0 whitewash may not have been the score he hoped for, but the journey proved a formative experience for young Robinson, who was particularly drawn to Flintoff’s combative style.

Andrew Flintoff was an inspiration to the teenage Robinson (Gareth Copley/PA) (PA Archive)

Andrew Flintoff was an inspiration to the teenage Robinson (Gareth Copley/PA) (PA Archive)

Fifteen years later, he will be the man in the middle at The Gabba and is optimistic about the prospects of getting the urn back.

“I haven’t been here to play before, but I saw the test match here when I was 13,” he said.

“That was quite special and I was lucky to be here. There were moments in that series that I remember, I think ‘Freddie’ got 80 one day (in Sydney) and I remember thinking he was just taking it to the Aussies.

“Growing up, that’s what I wanted to do and how I wanted to play my cricket. It’s really inspiring to see that as a youngster and now hopefully try to emulate how Flintoff and other players did. I feel like we’re definitely the underdogs, but we can take the urn home.”

Though a five-cap rookie, Robinson has already proved his quality with 28 wickets at an average of 19.60 and also showed in a highly charged run against India this summer that he is no shrinking fiddle on the international stage.

He was happy to exchange a few words with Virat Kohli’s men and it looks like he won’t back down in the coming weeks either.

“I don’t think, as a person, I could keep my head down if I tried,” he explained.

“They are just home fans here too, so we have to be prepared for them to come at us hard and the challenge will be tough.

“I’m definitely going to try and get under their skin and kind of upset them, basically batters and bowlers. If I can get them out of their rhythm we’ll be winning, so it’s something you’ll definitely see and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

I’m definitely going to try to get under their skin and shake them up a bit. The Aussie chat is pretty atrocious.

Asked about the attention he expected in return, he was no longer conciliatory.

“The Aussie chat is pretty awful if I’m honest,” he added.

Both teams have had little meaningful training, with continued rain in Queensland reducing the warm-up schedule to a few chaotic sessions rather than the scheduled multi-day matches.

But while England have had a typically busy year of test cricket at home and abroad, Australia have not put on their Baggy Greens since their defeat at home to India in January. With their multi-format players also arriving at the last possible moment due to their win at the recent T20 World Cup, Robinson believes England have their noses up for when it comes to preparedness.

“Obviously it wasn’t ideal preparation, it was tough, but as a group we feel like we made it with what we were given,” he said.

“We feel in a good place and we have an edge over the Aussies, which is the most important. They were at the World Cup (final) and in quarantine so they are probably a few weeks behind us. We feel we have a good job in us since we’ve been here and hopefully that will give us an edge in the first test. ”

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