World news story

Belgium assists UK in strike against people smuggling network

The Belgian federal police has assisted the UK's National Crime Agency in launching a major strike against a people smuggling network.

Arrests made by NCA officers

Arrests made by NCA officers

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) on 6 February launched a major strike comprising 350 officers against a suspected criminal network accused of smuggling hundreds of Iraqi-Kurdish believed to have paid between £5,000 and £10,000 to be smuggled into the UK. The strike led to 21 people being arrested and follows a year-long investigation into a Kurdish network suspected of smuggling people to the UK from Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

This was the biggest NCA operation since its birth in 2013 and follows close cooperation with the Belgian Federal Police, the French Police Aux Frontières (PAF) and Dutch KMAR.

UK’s National Crime Agency Officer based in Brussels said:

The UK National Crime Agency works constantly alongside our colleagues from the Belgian Federal Judicial Police specialist investigation teams, targeting those who make profit from human smuggling, and the often closely associated exploitation of vulnerable people.

The Operation is the latest in a long list of successes shared by Belgium and the UK.

Our close partnership will continue to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups that prey on these victims.

Notes to editors

For more detailed information and photos, visit the NCA website.

Published 12 February 2018