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Two arrests over foiled attempt to smuggle migrants to UK across Channel on speedboats


Police have arrested two people in Nottingham as part of a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into a foiled attempt to smuggle migrants to the UK using a speedboat.

The move comes after an operation on October 30 during which Belgian police stopped a high-powered rigid hulled inflatable boat leaving the coast near the town of Nieuwpoort in Flanders.

A total of 12 migrants, all believed to be Albanian nationals, were detained, alongside two men from Basingstoke in Hampshire who were arrested by the Belgian authorities for alleged people smuggling offences. 

NCA officers also detained a third suspected member of the crime group in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He was later released under investigation. 

NCA officers raided an address off the Mansfield Road in Sherwood, Nottingham, arresting two Albanian men aged 48 and 44 on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration.  They remain in custody being questioned. 

NCA Branch Commander Colin Williams said: “Our investigation is focused on individuals suspected of involvement in the October attempt to circumvent UK border controls using a high-powered boat."

The latest crossings take the provisional total for 2022 to date to 43,500, according to PA news agency analysis of Government figures.