Five arrests after migrants discovered in cattle truck

21 October 2019, 17:37

National Crime Agency officers carried out the UK arrests
National Crime Agency officers carried out the UK arrests. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of using a cattle truck to smuggle people into the UK.

13 migrants, including a child, were found in a lorry carrying livestock in the port of Calais on Saturday - but the details have only just been released.

Border Force officers had searched the vehicle acting on information from the NCA.

After the search, the lorry driver, a British national, was detained by the French authorities.

Four more men, aged between 23 and 39, were then arrested by the NCA on suspicion of facilitating immigration in a series of raids in Romford and Brentwood.

NCA investigators raided properties in Grays, Essex, and Worthing, West Sussex.

At one a "substantial amount" of cash, thought to be around £100,000, was recovered and seized.

The four men arrested by the NCA were questioned and later released under investigation. The man detained in France remains in custody.

NCA regional head of investigation Gerry McLean said: "Those who seek to profit from facilitating illegal immigration into the United Kingdom do so for their own selfish greed and without any concern for the health and wellbeing of those who are often moved across borders in inhuman and degrading conditions.

"We are determined to do all we can with our law enforcement partners to disrupt those networks and bring perpetrators to justice.

"Our investigation into this incident continues."

Last week the Home Office said patrols on French beaches would be doubled in a bid to halve the number of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.