Iraqi-Kurdish people smuggling network busted in the UK

Image: NCA

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has busted an Iraqi-Kurdish people smuggling network busted in the UK.

Six men have been charged as part of a major National Crime Agency investigation into an organised criminal network alleged to have smuggled hundreds of Iraqi-Kurdish migrants into the UK.

The group, aged between 27 and 64, were all arrested during a series of raids carried out by the NCA and policing partners in February 2018.

Five of the men are from the north-east of England, the other is from London.

They stand accused of being part of a Kurdish network which would use lorries to transport people from France, Belgium and the Netherlands into the UK. A number of HGVs were intercepted on their way.

The migrants would be charged between £5,000 and £10,000 for that leg of the journey.

The six are due to appear before Newcastle-upon-Tyne Magistrates Court on Thursday September 23.

NCA regional head of investigation Mark Spoors said, “This has been a long and complex investigation, involving partners from across Europe, including law enforcement agencies in France, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as here in the UK.

“Since the operation which saw the arrests took place we have worked patiently and diligently to build up evidence which has now led to these charges being authorised by the CPS.

“We remain determined to disrupt and dismantle organised crime networks involved in people smuggling,” he added on September 21.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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