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NCA targets suspected small boat people smuggling networks in ongoing international operation

National Crime Agency officers yesterday joined what is believed to be the biggest ever international operation targeting criminal networks suspected of using small boats to smuggle thousands of people into the UK.

Early yesterday morning (Tuesday 5 July) NCA officers moved in and made six arrests in the Docklands and Catford areas of London.

At an address in Rushey Green, Catford, a 26-year-old man was detained on suspicion of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration.

Two other men were arrested for immigration offences and will now be dealt with by the immigration authorities.

At an address in St Davids Square, Isle of Dogs, a 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration.

A 20-year-old woman and 18-year-old man were also arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply, after a quantity of what is suspected to be cocaine was recovered.

Dozens of raids are also taking place in Germany, France and the Netherlands, where the activity is ongoing.

The investigation has seen the NCA work with partners in Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands, as well as Europol and Eurojust.

Those arrested in the UK remain in custody and are being questioned by NCA investigators.

More details about the operation across Europe will be announced in due course.

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