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Man arrested in Crossmaglen as part of NCA investigation into people smuggling

NI man arrested in Crossmaglen as part of NCA investigation into people smuggling

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Credit: NCA

Credit: NCA

Credit: NCA

A man from Northern Ireland was arrested by National Crime Agency officers in south Armagh as part of a people smuggling investigation which saw 10 migrants rescued from the back of a lorry.

The 32-year-old was detained in Crossmaglen during the operation on Friday, which was supported by the PSNI.

He will now be questioned on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration as part of an international investigation involving law enforcement in Belgium.

The arrest followed the discovery of 10 migrants in a lorry carrying a load of tyres in Belgium in March 2020.

Belgian authorities were acting on information from the NCA.

Two Irish nationals arrested in Dover following the incident were later charged, with one pleading guilty and the other awaiting trial.

Wayne Sherlock (40) from Eythorn in Kent previously pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing following the trial Eoin Nolan (49) from Sandwich.

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Nolan is due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on February 28, 2022.

A man arrested in Co Antrim shortly afterwards was released pending a report to prosecutors.

NCA Belfast branch commander David Cunningham said Friday’s arrest is a significant development in what has been a long and complex investigation involving international partners.

“Tackling people smugglers is a priority for the NCA, and we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle the criminal networks involved in this type of exploitative crime,” he added.


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