Man, 38, arrested in connection with small boat crossings

A 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection with small boat crossings.

The man, who claimed to be an Iraqi national, was arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration to the UK early on Sunday.

He was arrested in Preston as part of an ongoing NCA investigation into two small boat crossings from France in November and December 2023.

Investigators believe the man was involved in facilitating migrants travelling from Turkey to the UK and advertised smuggling services on social media.

The NCA seized phones and documents during a raid of his address.

NCA senior investigating officer Al Mullen commented: "Today's arrest marks a significant point in an international investigation into organised immigration crime.

"Tackling this threat is a priority for the NCA, we have seen only in recent weeks how dangerous these crossings are."

Read more from Sky News
Vigil for Hainault stabbing victim
Manhunt after burglar escapes prison

On Wednesday 711 people crossed the Channel - the most recorded in a single day. They came across in 14 boats, averaging 51 people per boat.

It takes the provisional total for the number of arrivals this year so far to 8,278.

Numbers of small boat arrivals during the first four months of the year are at their highest ever level.

Some 7,167 people arrived on UK shores after travelling by small boat from the continent between 1 January to 27 April.