A man appeared in court today (14 July) after being targeted by the National Crime Agency as part a major international operation against small boat people smugglers.
Kaiwan Poore, a 37-year-old Iranian-born UK national, was detained by police at Manchester Airport yesterday before he could take a flight to Turkey.
He had been listed as wanted by the NCA, who were working with law enforcement partners in France to track him down.
French prosecutors accuse him of being part of an organised crime network involved in people smuggling.
Poore is thought to have arrived in the UK from Germany a day before a series of raids across Europe that saw around 40 people arrested on 5 July.
Extradition proceedings have begun at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court today.
NCA Deputy Director Jacque Beer said:
“The investigation into this suspected criminal group has involved law enforcement in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
“It is targeting criminal networks alleged to have used small boats to smuggle up to 10,000 people into the UK.
“Our work to curtail the activities of these gangs continues, and working with our European partners we are determined to do all we can to disrupt them and bring them to justice.”
Six arrests were made by the NCA as part of the co-ordinated European activity on 5 July, including two men held on suspicion of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration. The pair were later bailed pending further enquiries. Arrests were also made for drug and immigration offences.
Dozens of boats and engines were seized in Germany and the Netherlands, with hundreds of lifejackets also recovered.
The Europe-wide operation on 5 July came after NCA officers arrested a man suspected of being a leading figure in the criminal network in London in May.
Hewa Rahimpur, aged 29 and originally from Iran, is wanted by the authorities in Belgium and now faces extradition from the UK. He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates tomorrow (Friday 15 July).
The investigation has seen the NCA work with partners in Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands, as well as Europol and Eurojust.
Photo credit: National Crime Agency