Three arrested for people smuggling after boat rescue


Further update - 1 February 2018

Afrim Xhekaliu, aged 40, of Leicester Road, Barnet, who was on the boat that was rescued, has been charged with assisting illegal entry. He will appear via video link tomorrow (Friday) at Brighton Magistrates Court.

No further action has been taken against the other man, who was on board the boat, and he is now being dealt with by Immigration Enforcement.

The third man arrested by NCA officers in Crawley last night was questioned, and has been released under investigation.

Update - 1 February 2018

National Crime Agency officers last night arrested a third man on suspicion of people smuggling offences, following the rescue of a boat carrying suspected migrants off the coast of Sussex.

He is now being questioned. Two other men remain in custody.

The remaining individuals who were on board the vessel are now being dealt with by the Home Office.

31 January 2018

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of people smuggling offences by NCA officers after a boat carrying a group of suspected migrants had to be rescued from the English Channel.

It follows a search and rescue operation involving the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the RNLI, Border Force and the NCA off the coast of Sussex.

A rigid hull inflatable boat, carrying eight men and one woman, was eventually located and those on board taken by lifeboat to Eastbourne harbour.

Six men and the woman, all believed to be Albanian nationals, are being dealt with by Border Force, while the two other men, also believed to be Albanian, are now being questioned by the NCA.

Martin Grace, NCA senior investigating officer, said: “This incident demonstrates the dangers associated with attempts to cross the Channel in this manner, and it is extremely fortunate that all those on this vessel were able to be recovered safe and well.

"An investigation is underway and we are working closely with Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.”


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