"3000 saved just today. In Macedonia they want to cross the borders by force. In Greece, Spain, Italy, France it is literally an invasion. Business is going very well" laughs loudly Ismail in the expensive foreigners' bar in Tripoli.
"These ghosts are making me, sorry us, super-rich. The problem is that we have so many that we do not have enough ships to make them cross the Mediterranean sea." Ismail says with satisfaction.
"Take whatever you got man, any boat, vessel ship, any piece of wood you can throw in the water to put ten, hundred, thousands of these dirty men and women. And always put small children because that is the guarantee that the stupid Europeans will rescue those ghosts and then we get more and more of those dirty people with us" shouts loudly Ahmed.
"We got just two months" says Ismail. "I got one hundred thousands ready to go but the other guys are getting the business tougher and tougher" .
"Forget about them" shouts again Ahmed. "We are the strongest ones in the business, we got the ships, we got the connections, we call the rescue teams in the Mediterranean sea when the boats are diving, we got everything.
And what about the others? They don't know anybody, they get crap boats and make those dead people cross the sea cheaply even for 2000 -3000 dollars. They are cutting the prices. We make 5000 dollars but with us people know that they cross the sea without problems. With the others it is different. Their boats always dive and people know that. That's why those ghosts always come to us."
"And the Europeans did you already speak to them?" asks Ismail. "Remember this business goes well if the Europeans do their job. Our percentage is 80 to 20 and must never go below 70.".
"Not to worry" ends Ahmed "Our friends in Greece, Italy and Spain always come at the right time. The others instead go below 50".
The percentage Ahmed is talking about is the percentage of alive to dead migrants that survive after the rescue in the Mediterrranean sea.
That's the way the business goes: if you go below 70% the demand goes down and you go to the more expensive guys like Ismail. If the percentage is high you can charge up to 5000 dollars per migrant.
Good money right? Wrong, dirty money, but as Ismail says "I don't not give a damn about those ghosts in the crappy boats".