UK: 39 suspects arrested for smuggling migrants into the UK

In the UK, a 38-man criminal network was arrested that ferried a thousand people across the English Channel in boats to the UK, conducting a major police operation in Europe.

In addition to the arrests, authorities said on Wednesday that police found 135 boats in various locations, including a German farm and Dutch warehouses, more than 1,000 life jackets, engines, oar bundles and money used for smuggling.

“We believe this is the largest operation of its kind to combat this threat, and I hope that this will send a signal,” Matt Rivers from the British National Crime Agency said at a press conference.

The operation was coordinated by the police and justice authorities of five countries and the European Union, resulting in the arrest of 18 suspects in Germany, nine in France, six in the UK and six in the Netherlands, and the operation is still ongoing.

Rivers said the leader of the suspected group is a 26-year-old Iranian, and no further details were released immediately.

Rivers predicted that the number of Channel crossings would decrease as a result, although the increasingly harsh measures of the British and French police for many years did little to deter people intending to make the dangerous journey to Britain.

More than 28,000 migrants fleeing conflict or extreme poverty in Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq and elsewhere reached the UK via the canal last year, and this has greatly increased the number of migrants since 2020, with dozens of people killed trying to cross the border. including 27 people. migrants on the boat, overcrowded in November, capsized.

Officials said the network, which was dismantled in a police operation this week, is believed to be unrelated to the network behind the November flooding.

Source: AB

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