Huddersfield man arrested after 50 migrants smuggled into UK

File picture of handcuffs -Credit:West Yorkshire Police

A Huddersfield man has been arrested after he allegedly smuggled people into the UK.

The 43-year-old is one of four men to have been arrested. The men were detained after Home Office teams carried out dawn raids at addresses across the country on Wednesday, April 17.

Two British nationals were arrested, both 43, the other living Middlesbrough, while two Kurdish Iraqis, 36 and 27, were arrested in Stockport and Southampton.

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The men are believed to be responsible for dozens of attempts to bring people to the UK illegally, via commercial airline flights, hidden in cars and on ferries. As many as 50 people are thought to have entered the UK illegally since 2022 via this criminal network, the Home Office said. The migrants are predominantly Kurdish and Vietnamese nationals.

Minister for Countering Illegal Migration, Michael Tomlinson, said: “We’re working day and night to dismantle the criminal gangs who are trying to turn a profit by abusing our borders.

“These arrests make clear if you are involved in this kind of criminality, you can expect our teams to find you and bring you to justice – wherever you are in the UK.”

The group’s operations are believed to have spanned Europe, with smuggling attempts taking place across the UK’s borders with the Republic of Ireland and France.

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The Home Office said intelligence suggests the suspects have been supplying and manufacturing false travel documents, including passports, national identity cards and blank visas.

It is believed they have been charging more than £1,000 per document. Home Office criminal and financial investigator, Paul Harvey, 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.

“I’m grateful to my team for their commitment and determination in this investigation. We will now work hard to ensure these suspects are put behind bars.”