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Has, a town in Albania, is losing hundreds of illegal boat migrants to the UK


He’s 6 ft tall and smoking, but the youngster standing with a posse of friends on a street corner of Has, a tiny town tucked away in the mountains of northern Albania, is only 13 years old.

When he pulls out his cigarette packet to offer me one, his high-pitched voice makes it clear he is still a child.

Despite his youth, like so many young males in this depressed backwater he is determined to escape Albania as soon as possible.

‘I go on a boat to England next month,’ he assures me in near-perfect English, with only a slight trace of an Albanian accent. 

‘Six of my friends from school have left for your country this summer. I miss them already.’

Mayor of Has, Liman Morina, 52 (pictured on August 10), says he wants to erect a statue of the Queen because so many teenage boys are leaving the town for the UK

Mayor of Has, Liman Morina, 52 (pictured on August 10), says he wants to erect a statue of the Queen because so many teenage boys are leaving the town for the UK

He tells me his name is Gjergi but, as I get out my notebook and write it down, things begin to get nasty. 

Violently grabbing the pad from me, he demands my pen and…



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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