News story

Men wanted in people smuggling investigation returned to UK

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Two men wanted in connection with a Home Office-led investigation into people smuggling have been extradited back to the UK from Switzerland

Two men wanted in connection with a major Home Office Immigration Enforcement investigation into suspected people smuggling gangs have been arrested and brought back to the UK.

The pair, 37-year-old Jayakody Surtharshan of Bradley Road in Luton and John Anes Soundaranayagam Uvais, 41, of Mitcham Road, East Ham, London were arrested by police in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday 14 June.

Extradition warrants were obtained and specialist Immigration Enforcement officers flew out to Switzerland and took them into custody. The pair were brought back to Heathrow Airport today (Friday 21 June).

Illegal immigration

They will now appear before Maidstone Magistrates Court charged with conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration.

Rob Allen, Assistant Director for Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigations, said:

These arrests were made as a result of close working with our international law enforcement partners.

People smuggling is a serious crime and operations like this show that we will stop at nothing to track down those suspected of being involved, no matter where they are in the world.

These latest arrests are part of a major investigation into the alleged smuggling of illegal immigrants into and through the UK via the Channel ports.

Major investigation

In May around 120 immigration and police officers from Home Office Immigration Enforcement and Kent Police carried out simultaneous raids on addresses in London, Luton and Essex.

Eleven people were arrested, five of whom were subsequently charged and have appeared in court. Six remain on bail pending further enquiries.

At the same time raids also took place in France and Germany, where seven were arrested.

The Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigation team is a specialist unit of seconded police officers working alongside warranted immigration officers to investigate organised immigration crime.

Anyone with information about immigration crime can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.

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