Conspiracy theory confirmed: ‘Rescue’ charities working with people traffickers in the Mediterranean

The claim that migrant “rescue ships” have been acting as people traffickers or working with them has been circulating on anti-immigration blogs for a while. There are websites, like VesselFinder (link), where you can track the movements of individual ships. When you search for these “rescue ships”, you often see them lingering just off the coast of Libya. Now Frontex has confirmed they are indeed working hand in hand with the people traffickers.

The EU’s border agency has accused charities operating in the Mediterranean of colluding with people smugglers, according to confidential reports seen by the Financial Times. 

The accusations from Frontex bring to the fore a long-simmering dispute between EU officials and non-governmental organisations over how to resolve a migration crisis that has caused the deaths of 4,700 people this year alone. 

Frontex put its concerns in a confidential report last month, raising the idea that migrants had been given “clear indications before departure on the precise direction to be followed in order to reach the NGOs’ boats”. 

The agency made the accusation explicitly in another report last week, which stated: “First reported case where the criminal networks were smuggling migrants directly on an NGO vessel”. 

NGOs operating in the region emphatically denied working with people smugglers. Elsewhere in the reports, which are shared among EU officials and diplomats, Frontex says people rescued by NGO vessels were often “not willing to co-operate with debriefing experts at all” with some claiming “that they were warned [by NGOs] not to co-operate with Italian law enforcement or Frontex”. 

The number of rescues triggered by a distress signal fell from roughly two-thirds of all incidents this summer to barely one in 10 in October, according to Frontex figures. This drop-off coincided with a jump in the number of rescues carried out by NGOs in the central Mediterranean. They responded to more than 40 per cent of rescues in October, compared with just 5 per cent at the start of the year.


3 thoughts on “Conspiracy theory confirmed: ‘Rescue’ charities working with people traffickers in the Mediterranean

  1. This doesn't surprise me in the slightest: years ago, I worked for the British Red Cross and we were shown a video in which it was stated that, as official but not publicly stated policy of the RC, we were NOT to inform either the Police or Immigration Authorities if we had cause to suspect that 'immigrants' or 'asylum seekers' or 'refugees' were in Britain illegally but, instead, we were to direct these invaders to the Refugee Council which would do all it could to ensure that these invaders remained in Britain (and thus ensuring that they would live off the social security benefits paid for by the unsuspecting native British who also believed that charities such as the RC were helping legitimate refugees rather than being engaged in what amounts to a clear policy of racial and religious dispossession of native peoples and their cultural, if not also literal, genocide). It was also admitted privately, not publicly, by the RC that their translators realised that these phony refugees all had the same storyline and had clearly been well briefed before their arrival in Britain and, in some cases, had actually been flown in by night flights to avoid public notice of their influx.


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