Suspected Channel crossings people smuggler arrested in police raid

The National Crime Agency is now questioning the 30-year-old Albanian man.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
Migrant Channel crossing incidents

A man suspected of smuggling migrants across the Channel has been arrested.

The 30-year-old Albanian was detained by officers in a dawn raid on Friday in Tolworth Rise in Surbiton, south-west London, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

He is suspected of being involved in an Albanian organised crime group co-ordinating the movements of migrants from France to the UK by boat and is now being questioned on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.

Suspected people smuggler arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA)
The 30-year-old suspected people smuggler was arrested by the National Crime Agency on Friday in south-west London (NCA/PA)

Cash and a tablet, seized during a search of his home, are also being examined.

Jacque Beer, the NCA’s regional head of investigation, said: “Attempts to reach the UK by small boat are incredibly dangerous, and we know a high percentage are facilitated by organised criminal networks of varying sophistication. These networks do not care about the safety or security of those they transport, they seek to exploit them for profit.

“The danger they pose means tackling them remains a priority for the NCA.

“We believe today’s operation will have disrupted the activity of one such network, and our investigation continues.”

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