Fighting clandestine people smuggling into the UK is a top threat for the National Crime Agency (NCA), Jayne Lloyd, NCA branch commander, has said.
She made the remarks after three men suspected of being members of an organised crime group involved in moving Albanian nationals from Europe into the UK were charged with people smuggling offences
The trio were arrested last Wednesday after officers from the NCA and the Belgian Federal Police of West Flanders made coordinated arrests.
Scott Downie, aged 31, of Seedley Park Road, Salford; Anthony Corkovic, aged 28, of Murray Street, Salford; and Jetlind Gjyriqi, aged 31, of Approach Road, Merton, London, were all charged with people smuggling.
They will appear from custody at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 1st September 2017.
Two other men arrested in the UK were released under investigation.
Officers in Belgium arrested three Albanian men and recovered six Albanian men from the back of a lorry which was en route to the UK. The three men are still being questioned by the police and Immigration Department officials.