Channel migrants: Arrests 'disrupt people-smuggling gang'

Seized boat Image copyright NCA
Image caption Officers seized cash and several vehicles, including a boat

Six men have been arrested on suspicion of planning to smuggle migrants across the English Channel in lorries and small boats.

Officers seized a vessel and made arrests in Chingford, north-east London, and Folkestone, Kent.

All of the suspects, aged between 43 and 59, are British, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

The arrests followed the discovery of 12 migrants inside a lorry in west London on 7 September, it said.

Five suspects have been released under investigation and one released on bail.

The NCA said it had disrupted a network "intent on smuggling migrants across the Channel".

Andrea Wilson, of the agency, said tackling smuggling gangs was an "operational priority".

She said: "We know people smugglers display a complete lack of regard for human life, and are happy to put the people they treat as nothing more than a commodity in dangerous situations in small boats or in the backs of lorries."

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