Four men appear in court charged with smuggling migrants to UK in boats

Four men have appeared in court charged with smuggling migrants to the UK from Belgium in boats.

Albanians Arsen Feci, 44, Klodian Shenaj, 48, and Banet Tershana, 51, along with Irishman Desmond Rice, 46, of Meadowcroft, Aylesbury, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

The men were arrested on Tuesday as part of an NCA investigation into a group suspected of organising a series of people-smuggling runs to the UK from Europe, including a number of crossing events last year.

The move follows the arrest of two men in Belgium last October for similar offences.

Feci and Shenaj, of Broxtowe Street, Nottingham, Tershana, of Harmsworth Crescent, Hove, East Sussex, and Rice, of Meadowcroft, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, were remanded in custody, charged with conspiracy to facilitate the illegal entry to the UK of migrants.

They will appear before Nottingham Crown Court on March 29.