Ged McCann, intelligence manager at the National Crime Agency, said organized crime groups from Albania were “effectively bringing in the labor force" for illegal marijuana-growing operations in boats across the English Channel.
“Many individuals that are arrested in cannabis (farms) arrived in the country a matter of days before on small boats," he said.
U.K. interior minister Suella Braverman has described the cross arrivals as an “invasion on our southern coast” — words that drew criticism at home and abroad. Rama blasted her words as a “crazy narrative” and attempt to cover up for the U.K.'s failed borders policies.
“The fact there came no apology shows it was a calculated attack," he added Tuesday.
Rama said that visa liberalization would help lower the number of people arriving illegally, but the U.K. government's policy is "completely the reverse.”
“The British government has launched a blind alley road with its new policy that has resulted from Brexit,” he said at a news conference.
Last week, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said it was “extremely grateful” for Albania’s cooperation on managing migration.
Sunak has described the migrant crisis as a “serious and escalating problem.” He acknowledged that “not enough” asylum claims are being processed, but maintained his Conservative government was getting a grip on the situation.
Jill Lawless contributed to this report from London.
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