Six charged over Kurdish network that 'smuggled hundreds' of migrants to UK

21 September 2021, 19:26

The men have been charged following a National Crime Agency investigation
The men have been charged following a National Crime Agency investigation. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Six men have been charged with being part of an organised criminal network alleged to have smuggled hundreds of Iraqi-Kurdish migrants into the UK.

The men, aged between 27 and 47 and from the North East of England and London, were arrested in a series of raids by National Crime Agency officers in February 2018.

They are accused of being part of a Kurdish network that charged migrants between £5,000 and £10,000 to be transported into the UK from France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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Mark Spoors, NCA regional head of investigation, said: "This has been a long and complex investigation, involving partners from across Europe, including law enforcement agencies in France, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as here in the UK.

"Since the operation, which saw the arrests took place, we have worked patiently and diligently to build up evidence which has now led to these charges being authorised by the CPS.

"We remain determined to disrupt and dismantle organised crime networks involved in people smuggling."

The six will appear before Newcastle Magistrates' Court on Thursday.