Police bust scheme to smuggle ‘thousands’ to UK in boats

Published July 6, 2022
French police said the network helped at a minimum 250 people per month cross to England. — AFP/File
French police said the network helped at a minimum 250 people per month cross to England. — AFP/File

BERLIN: Police across several European countries on Tuesday launched a major coordinated crackdown on criminal networks suspected of using small boats to smuggle people into the UK, British and German authorities said.

Officers staged dawn raids in Belgium, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Germany, said police in the northwestern German city of Osnabrueck, considered a hub for the traffickers.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said the sting was “believed to be the biggest ever international operation targeting criminal networks suspected of using small boats to smuggle thousands of people into the UK”.

Officers made six arrests in the Docklands and Catford areas of London, the NCA said.

In Germany, some 900 police carried out searches of 36 sites and arrested 18 suspects in an operation coordinated by Europol and European Union judicial agency Eurojust, they said in a statement.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2022

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