Home Office issues update after man arrested in 'people smuggling' raids

Immigration enforcement officers during one of the raids
Immigration enforcement officers during one of the raids -Credit:Home Office

The Home Office has issued an update after a man was arrested in Greater Manchester during raids targeting an alleged people smuggling gang. Four men who were believed to have smuggled 50 people into the UK illegally were arrested on Wednesday (April 18).

They included two Kurdish Iraqis, aged 36 and 27, who were arrested in Stockport and Southampton. Two British nationals, both aged 43, were also arrested in Huddersfield and Middlesbrough.

The Home Office believed the group were responsible for dozens of attempts to bring people - predominantly Kurdish and Vietnamese nationals - into the UK since 2022, on commercial airline flights, ferries and hidden in cars. In an update issued today (Friday), the Home Office told the Manchester Evening News that all four men had since been bailed pending further enquiries.

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The group's operations were believed to have taken place across Europe, with alleged people smuggling taking place across the UK's borders with the Republic of Ireland and France. Intelligence suggested the group had been supplying and manufacturing false travel documents and charging more than £1,000 each.

Paul Harvey, Home Office criminal and financial investigator, said: "This has been a large and well-planned operation executed across the entire country. We are working tirelessly to disrupt and dismantle the networks of criminals helping migrants to enter the UK illegally."