Two arrested by National Crime Agency over speed boat people smuggling attempt

Photo credit: NCA

Two people have been arrested in connection with a National Crime Agency investigation into a foiled attempt to smuggle migrants to the UK using a speedboat.

The arrests follow an operation last month where Belgian police prevented a high-powered rigid hulled inflatable boat leaving the coast near the town of Nieuwpoort in Flanders.

Twelve migrants, believed to be Albanian nationals, were detained, alongside two men from Basingstoke in Hampshire who were arrested by the Belgian authorities for alleged people smuggling offences.

NCA officers also detained a third suspected member of the crime group in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He was later released under investigation.

At around 10pm on Tuesday NCA officers raided an address off the Mansfield Road in Sherwood, arresting two Albanian men aged 48 and 44 on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration.

They remain in custody being questioned.

NCA Branch Commander Colin Williams said:

“Our investigation is focused on individuals suspected of involvement in the October attempt to circumvent UK border controls using a high-powered boat.
“Tackling people smugglers is a priority for the NCA, and we are doing all we can to target the networks impacting on the UK, whether they are operating on our shores or overseas.”

The investigation has seen the NCA working closely with partners including Belgian Federal Police, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here