National Crime Agency
Four arrested in people smuggling investigation after migrants rescued from truck
Four men have been arrested as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into a crime group suspected of transporting migrants from the continent into the UK in the back of lorries.
The arrests followed the discovery of 10 migrants in a lorry carrying a load of tyres near Ghent in Belgium on Thursday 5 March. The migrants, believed to be two adults and eight juveniles, are thought to be from south east Asia.
The Belgian authorities were acting on information from the NCA, and arrested the driver of the vehicle, a 64-year-old man from Glasgow.
NCA officers then arrested three further men, two in Dover, Irish nationals aged 39 and 48, on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration. A 30-year-old man was subsequently arrested in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, today (Friday 6 March).
All three are now in custody being questioned by NCA investigators, while officers have also carried out searches at properties in Northern Ireland and Kent. At an address in Kent two suspected firearms were seized.
NCA regional head of investigation Gerry McLean said:
“Our close working with our Belgian partners in this instance has led to the safeguarding of a number of migrants who had been put in a very dangerous situation, and we are grateful for their support.
“We have seen only recently in Essex the tragic consequences which these types of attempts can have.
“Working with partners at home and abroad, we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in illegal immigration, and our investigation into this matter continues.”
West Flanders Prosecutor Frank Demeester added:
“This kind of human smuggling is very dangerous, and the operation proves once more that international cooperation works in the fight against this type of organised crime.
“The contacts between the British NCA and Belgian Federal Judicial Police, maritime police and prosecutors have become more intense in recent years.
“In the fight against human smuggling, the UK is obviously an important partner as being the country of destination.”
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
Op Venetic: Suspected drugs and money laundering network members arrested in Bolton13/07/2020 10:20:00
Five suspected members of a Bolton-based organised crime group involved in drugs supply and money laundering have been arrested as part of National Crime Agency activity linked to Operation Venetic
Man jailed for cocaine fruit and veg conspiracy13/07/2020 09:10:00
A man who tried to use a fake fruit and veg business as a cover for drug trafficking has been jailed for trying to smuggle cocaine worth over a million pounds into the UK
Operation Venetic: Merseyside man arrested for firearms offences10/07/2020 15:05:00
A man from Merseyside has been arrested as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the supply of firearms.
NCA statement on modern slavery allegations in Leicester09/07/2020 11:15:00
The National Crime Agency can confirm that it has received information regarding allegations of modern slavery and exploitation in the textile industry in Leicester.
Irish trio plead guilty to drug importation offences following four-year NCA investigation07/07/2020 16:15:00
Three men have pleaded guilty to a series of drug and firearms offences, following a major investigation by the National Crime Agency.
“NCA not fu*@ing about,” say kingpin criminals06/07/2020 15:43:00
Kingpin criminals at the heart of a landmark law enforcement breakthrough into encrypted communications are in fear of the National Crime Agency and police, according to their messages.
Operation Venetic: suspect charged overnight with drugs and firearm supply06/07/2020 13:15:00
A 24-year-old man who was arrested recently (2nd July) as part of an National Crime Agency led investigation under Operation Venetic has been charged.
Man guilty after drugs worth millions found in toy delivery06/07/2020 12:43:00
A man who tried to smuggle cocaine worth over £8 million into the UK in a van delivering toy bricks has pleaded guilty.
NCA and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies after infiltration of encrypted communication platform in UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation02/07/2020 15:43:00
Entire organised crime groups dismantled during Operation Venetic with 746 arrests, and £54m criminal cash, 77 firearms and over two tonnes of drugs seized so far.