Vietnamese man detained in people-smuggling crackdown

A Vietnamese national suspected of being a high-ranking member of a people-smuggling network has been arrested during a National Crime Agency raid in the West Midlands.

NCA Birmingham arrest
NCA Birmingham arrest

The 23-year-old man was held during an operation in the Handsworth area at around 6am on Monday after attempting to exit the building out of a window onto a flat roof, the NCA said.

A large quantity of cash, estimated to be around £10,000, was recovered from the property.

The arrest is the latest phase of an investigation into the smuggling of mainly Vietnamese migrants into the UK in the backs of lorries in August and September 2020.

A suspect is lead away after the raid. Credit: National Crime Agency/PA
A suspect is lead away after the raid (National Crime Agency/PA)

The man is now being questioned on suspicion of assisting illegal immigration to the UK and money laundering offences.

NCA branch operations manager Paul Boniface said: “We are determined to disrupt and dismantle people smuggling networks wherever they are operating.

“These groups treat people as a commodity to be profited from and are quite happy to put lives at risk in dangerous journeys in the back of trucks or in small boats.

“Protecting life and preventing exploitation are our priorities, and this investigation continues.”

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