Three smugglers were handcuffed by police in the UK after being caught transporting 69 Albanian migrants from Belgium to the UK on a fishing boat.
A 34-year-old Lithuanian living in Lambeth, a 32-year-old Israeli living in Finchley and a 39-year-old Latvian living in Kent were handcuffed.
The arrests follow the interception of the Svanic fishing vessel off the east coast of England on November 17 last year, as part of a joint operation involving the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and the Border Force. The ship had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium and was carrying 69 Albanian passengers, who landed in Haruich to be treated by immigration authorities.
Local authorities say investigations into the case are ongoing, calling it a serious attempt to break UK border controls.
“Today’s activity shows once again our determination to destroy human smuggling networks, wherever they operate,” said local authorities.