Birmingham man arrested as part of ‘small boats’ smuggling investigation in Sutton Coldfield

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A man from in Birmingham has been arrested in Sutton Coldfield as part of an investigation into people smuggling

Two men and a woman have been arrested by the National Crime Agency as part of an investigation into a crime group alleged to be involved in smuggling people to the UK using small boats.

Those detained include a 53-year-old man from Old Oscott in Birmingham who is suspected of acting as an ‘agent’ for those who wish to transport people illegally to the UK from the continent.

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He is alleged to have had contact with people smuggling gangs on the continent to arrange for spaces on boats, and arranging for payments to be made. The man was arrested at a location in Sutton Coldfield along with his 42-year-old female partner, while a 39-year-old man was separately detained at an address in Hounslow, west London.

All three are now in custody and will be questioned by NCA investigators on suspicion of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration. A number of phones and a quantity of cash were also seized and are now being examined.

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NCA statement about small boats smuggling investigation

NCA Branch Commander Mick Pope, said: “Whether they use small boats or HGVs, people smugglers pose a threat not just to UK border security but also to those they transport.

"This is why disrupting and dismantling the networks involved is a priority for us. This investigation is one of more than 90 currently being undertaken by the NCA against the threat posed by organised immigration crime, and it will continue following today’s arrests.”