Three men, including one from Lambeth, have been charged for attempting to smuggle 69 Albanian migrants into the UK.
A fishing boat was intercepted off the coast of East Anglia on November 17, last year, as part of a joint operation involving the NCA, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.
The boat, called the Svanic, had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium and was carrying 69 Albanian passengers.
It was escorted into Harwich where the three crew, a Latvian national and two Ukrainian nationals, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.
The trio, Arturas Jusas, aged 34, a Lithuanian national of Wandsworth Road, Lambeth; Kfir Ivgi, 32, an Israeli national living in Corrigan Close, Finchley; and Sergejs Kuliss, 39, of Hartlake Road, Tonbridge in Kent, were detained by NCA officers in a series of raids yesterday.
The Crown Prosecution Service has now authorised charges of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration, and they will appear before Southend Magistrates later today.
Speaking after yesterday’s raids, NCA Regional Head of Investigation Jacque Beer said:“Those arrested today are suspected of having played a key role in the events which led up to the interception of the Svanic in November last year.
“This was a serious attempt to breach the UK’s border controls, and our investigation into that incident continues.
“But today’s activity once again demonstrates our determination to disrupt and dismantle people smuggling networks wherever they are operating. It is a key priority for the NCA.”
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