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Suspected ringleader of gang that ‘smuggled 1000’s of individuals from Africa to Europe’ arrested in UK | UK Information

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A suspected ringleader of a gang accused of smuggling 1000’s of individuals throughout the Mediterranean in “loss of life entice” boats has been arrested within the UK.

The 40-year-old man is alleged to have orchestrated crossings of a whole bunch of migrants at a time from North Africa into Italy.

Officers from the Nationwide Crime Company (NCA) detained the suspect on Wednesday afternoon as he was strolling on a avenue in Hounslow, west London.

The Egyptian nationwide is alleged to be linked to dozens of unlawful boat crossings, the bulk from Libya.

The NCA says it has launched greater than 90 investigations into organised immigration crime and smuggling networks.

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Darren Barr, senior investigating officer on the NCA, stated: “Folks smuggling is a global drawback and tackling this at each step of the route is a precedence for the NCA.

“We suspect this man has been working his operation from the UK and masterminding the smuggling of 1000’s of migrants.

“The kind of boats organised crime teams use for crossings are loss of life traps, and sadly many individuals have died after incidents within the Mediterranean, which demonstrates the extent of hazard.”

Investigators say the suspect was working with individuals smuggling networks in North Africa to organise boats to convey over a whole bunch of migrants at a time, and was sustaining communication with felony associates through the crossings.

An analogous crossing in October 2022 noticed greater than 640 migrants rescued by the Italian authorities after they tried to cross in a picket boat from Libya.

It was taken into port in Sicily.

In one other crossing, 265 migrants had been rescued by the Italian coastguard from a 20-metre fishing boat discovered adrift within the Mediterranean in December.

Learn extra:
People smuggler reveals how illicit small boats trade really works
How police exposed the dark world of small boat crossings
The fake families being smuggled into the UK

Pic: Nationwide Crime Company

The boat had left Benghazi in Libya.

And in April 2023, two additional search and rescue operations had been mounted following misery calls to the coastguard – in every case greater than 600 migrants had been on board every boat.

The suspect is being questioned on suspicion of facilitating unlawful immigration.

His arrest comes after a vessel carrying hundreds of people sank off the Greek coast last week.

Not less than 78 migrants are identified to have died however many extra are feared to have drowned.

The UN’s human rights workplace says that as much as 500 individuals are nonetheless lacking.

The NCA stated the most recent arrest is just not believed to be linked to the catastrophe.

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