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Mar 31 2023
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Boat seized in Brightlingsea in migrant smuggling investigation

A boat has been seized in Brightlingsea by the National Crime Agency officers investigating a group alleged to have use boats to smuggle migrants from Belgium to the UK.

As part of the investigation, a 44-year-old Albanian national living in Leicester, was apprehended by NCA officers in Loughborough this on Wednesday, March 15 on suspicion of people smuggling offences. 

The operation is linked to the arrest of four others in February, who were later charged with assisting unlawful immigration and are due to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on March 29.

The men are alleged to be part of a gang organising a series of people smuggling runs to the UK from Europe, and are believed to be responsible for a number of “crossing events” in 2022.

NCA Senior Investigating Officer Derek Evans said of the latest arrest: “The man arrested today is suspected of involvement in a plot to use small boats in a series of people smuggling runs.

“Tackling organised immigration crime is a priority for the NCA, and our investigation continues.”


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