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Albanian people smuggling gangs have been using TikTok to advertise a smuggling route using lorries travelling by ferry from Santander to Portsmouth, at a cost of £14,000 per person.

TikTok has removed the videos which claimed that border post security is less stringent at Santander and Portsmouth than at the busier ports and that the route is less dangerous than crossing the Channel in small boats.

Last week six people died after an overcrowded dinghy which set off from France sunk on its way to the UK.

The six migrants were from Afghanistan and the dinghy they were on had almost 70 people on board.

People smugglers usually charge between £3,000 and £5,000 to cross the Channel in small boats.

Fines for lorry drivers who inadvertently bring stowaways into Britain rose from £2,000 to £10,000 per migrant in January this year.

The RHA recently put out a call for its members who are international hauliers to respond to a survey aimed at assessing how much people smuggling is affecting their businesses.

The survey which is being carried out by analysis firm Analytiqa, is looking at the frequency of migrant stowaway activity on trucks and the rate at which loads are spoilt or damaged as a result within the inbound UK supply chain.

The UK and Albanian authorities have been working together since December last year to make it more difficult for illegal migrants from Albania to arrive and stay in the UK.

This agreement resulted in over 1,000 Albanian nationals returned to Albania between December and April this year.

An immigration investigator told the Telegraph that Albanians are being forced into criminal operations because of the difficulty in being granted asylum in the UK.

“If they arrive on a small boat, they know that they are likely to be sent back to Albania.

“They know their asylum claim will be refused so they don't register with the Home Office. In order to pay the huge sum of money for getting into the UK, many getting involved in cannabis farms."

The immigration investigator added that tightened security at ports in France has seen gangs targeting routes to Portsmouth and Poole.

Steve Smith, chief executive of refugee charity Care4Calais, said: "The only solution that will put people smugglers out of business, stop small boat crossings and save lives is to offer safe passage to refugees with a viable asylum claim in the UK."