Mohammed Fiate, Sharam Shorsh and Ali Hardin were jailed in France this week
A trio of human traffickers were caught after videos of dangerous Channel crossings were found on one of their TikTok accounts, it has been reported.
Mohammed Fiate, 22, from Syria, and two 25-year-old Iraqi Kurds, Sharam Shorsh and Ali Hardin, were jailed in France on Monday for their roles in a £1.1 million smuggling plot.
They helped 545 people enter England illegally via the Channel in a five-week period this summer, according to court evidence reported by local media.
Up to 83 passengers at a time were squeezed onto tiny dinghies, with prosecutors accusing the traffickers of ‘total disregard’ for human life.
Their convictions came weeks after 27 migrants died when their vessel sank off the French coast, adding to the hundreds of lives lost attempting the crossings in the last two decades.
The men were arrested when their car was stopped for a routine identity check in Calais in August and a number of wet inflatable buoys were found in the boot.
A joint French-British investigation was launched after they were found to be carrying notebooks with the names of 151 migrants, as well as phones containing SIM cards known to detectives through investigations into similar plots.
Videos of people setting off from a French beach on inflatable boats were found on a TikTok account belonging to one of them, French newspaper La Voix Du Nord reported.
Mohammed Fiate claimed he was acting under threats of rape against his wife
Videos and photos said to show successful migrant crossings were found on his phone
Fiate’s phone was still receiving clips of thank-you messages from migrants who successfully entered the UK while he was in custody.
In court comments reported by the Daily Mail, prosecutor Adeline Depardon told him: ‘What stands out here is your disregard for other people’s lives, that human beings are a commodity.
‘At no moment did you think about the migrants who could have died at sea, but only about yourself.’
The trio were said to have charged from €2,000 (£1,700) to €3,000 (£2,500) per passenger, but the money has not been recovered as it was passed to more senior criminals
Police records produced in court, seen by the Mail, say a video found on one phone show Fiate thumbing a pile of €200 banknotes on a table covered by luxury watches.
Sharam Shorsh, 25, claimed he repaired boats to raise money for his sick father
All three men denied the charges, claiming ignorance or arguing they played minor roles under pressure from a mysterious kingpin known only as Souca.
Shorsh claimed he was a mechanic and agreed to repair three inflatable boat engines for €1,500 (£1,260) to help his sick father, adding that he regretted his actions.
Hardin said he only repaired a van while visiting the area, telling the court: ‘This has nothing to do with me.’
Fiate claimed he was ordered to transport migrants from the Calais jungle to beaches in Merlimont under threats of rape against his wife, although sources told the Mail his behaviour bore the hallmarks of a high-up trafficker.
Fiate was jailed for four years, Shorsh was jailed for two years and Haldin was jailed for one year. All three were banned from French territory for 10 years.
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