National Crime Agency
Woman arrested as part of people smuggling investigation
National Crime Agency officers have arrested a 23-year-old woman from east London as part of an investigation into the smuggling of Albanian migrants into the UK.
The Romanian national was detained near her home address in Walthamstow this morning by NCA officers working as part of Project Invigor, the UK’s organised immigration crime taskforce.
She was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration and is now being questioned by officers.
The arrest relates to an incident in June last year in which four Albanians were detained at Maidstone Services off the M20 in Kent, having been brought to the UK on a lorry.
All four had entered the UK illegally and were passed to Immigration Enforcement to be dealt with in line with UK immigration rules.
NCA senior manager Mark Blackwell, part of the Invigor taskforce, said:
“Project Invigor continues to have an impact on the organised crime groups involved in smuggling people to the UK, working both here in the UK and with our law enforcement partners overseas.
“We are determined to do all we can to disrupt these groups, make the UK a hostile environment for them to operate and prevent them from exploiting the desperation of others for their own financial profit.”
Invigor is the UK’s organised immigration crime taskforce set up to target the criminal networks behind people smuggling impacting on the UK. Led by the NCA, it also includes Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and the Crown Prosecution Service. Officers work in the UK and internationally.
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