National Crime Agency photo

Arrests as Migrants Continue to Cross English Channel

Up to 170 migrants in 12 boats crossed the English Channel this weekend.

Six migrants on two kayaks tied together were rescued by the French Navy off the coast of Calais. A further 222 people were stopped from attempting to cross the Channel by French authorities over the weekend.

This follows the finding of a body of a man in a lifejacket on a beach near Calais, who authorities later confirmed was a migrant.

There have recently been a series of arrests in human trafficking investigations by the U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA). On October 16, two Albanian brothers, Arben Cakici, 48, and Astrit Cakici, 37, from Barking and Newham, London, who were living illegally in the U.K., were charged with facilitating illegal entry into the U.K. and possessing a firearm. Arben also faces a charge for carrying a knife.

The NCA made the arrests after witnessing what is believed to have been a handover of four migrants from a lorry into two cars, near a service station in Kent at around 8am.

Two Romanian lorry drivers arrested at the scene, Ionut Colibei, 34, and Valerica Prutearu, 41, are also charged with facilitating illegal entry into the U.K. Colibei was also charged for being in possession of a knife.

Searches resulting from the initial arrests also led to a further arrest of a 45-year old man from Albania, wanted for unrelated offences.

And a 30-year-old male arrested as part of a separate NCA operation, who is suspected of supplying small boats to aid people smugglers in France, has been released under investigation.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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