More than 70 arrested on fishing boat in suspected people-smuggling incident

A total of 72 people have been arrested on a fishing boat off the UK’s coast in an anti-people smuggling investigation.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the vessel had been intercepted close to Great Yarmouth off the coast of East Anglia and escorted into Harwich harbour in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The large group of people were crammed onto a 30-metre boat which had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium, it has been reported.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

On board were three crew members, a Latvian national and two Ukrainian nationals, who were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.

A fishing boat in Harwich harbour which was intercepted off the coast of Great Yarmouth on Tuesday evening by the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force (NCA) and contained 69 suspected Albanian migrants and three crew members. Picture: National Crime Agency
A fishing boat in Harwich harbour which was intercepted off the coast of Great Yarmouth on Tuesday evening by the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force (NCA) and contained 69 suspected Albanian migrants and three crew members. Picture: National Crime Agency

The other 69 people, all Albanian nationals, were also detained on suspicion of breaking immigration rules.

NCA deputy director of investigations Craig Naylor said: “This was clearly a significant incident and a significant attempt to breach the UK’s border controls.

“Working with our partners we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle people smuggling networks.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.