Vietnamese man arrested in British attack on people smugglers

A Vietnamese man was arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of being a senior member of the People’s Smuggling Network, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the United Kingdom.

A 23-year-old man was detained during a raid on real estate in the Handsworth area around 6 am on Monday.

He was detained by an NCA police officer as he tried to leave the building through a window towards the flat roof below.

A large amount of cash, estimated at around £ 10,000 ($ 13,840), was also recovered from the property.

According to the NCA, the arrest is part of an investigation into the smuggling of mainly Vietnamese illegal immigrants into the United Kingdom behind trucks in August and September 2020.

The man is currently being cross-examined on suspicion of supporting illegal immigrants and money laundering crimes in the United Kingdom.

“No matter where we operate, we are determined to confuse and dismantle those who are smuggling the network,” said Paul Boniface, operations manager at the NCA branch.

“These groups are very pleased to treat people as profitable products and endanger their lives on dangerous journeys behind trucks and on small boats.”

“Protecting lives and preventing exploitation are our priorities,” Boniface said, saying the investigation is still underway.

The NCA did not reveal whether the latest arrest was in any way related to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese illegal immigrants in 2019.

When heading to the UK on October 23, 2019, 39 illegal immigrants between the ages of 15 and 44 were suffocated behind a refrigerated truck.

On January 22, 2021, seven men convicted of the deaths of 39 migrants were sentenced to a total of 93 years and 8 months in prison.

In June, British police arrested Vietnamese citizens in connection with the incident. He is said to have been part of a trafficking network that moved migrants to Britain via Belgium and France behind the truck, NCA said at the time.

Human smugglers often hide illegal immigrants in heavy trucks bound for the United Kingdom to avoid customs inspections. This is a practice that puts the lives of migrants at risk.

In March, a Turkish truck driver was arrested after it was discovered that 16 illegal migrants from Morocco, Algeria and Pakistan were hidden in a truck trailer.

In February, Cambridgeshire police reported two cases of rescuing illegal immigrants from behind a refrigerated lorry.

In 2000, 58 Chinese immigrants were found dead behind a Dover truck. The driver was later convicted of manslaughter.

Alexander Chan