Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said a Vietnamese man has been arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of being a high-ranking member of a people-trafficking network.
The 23-year-old was taken into custody during a raid on a property in Handsworth area around 6 am on Monday.
He was detained by NCA officials as he tried to exit the building through a window on a flat roof below.
A large amount of cash, from the property, was estimated to be around £10,000 ($13,840).
The NCA said the arrests are part of an investigation into the smuggling of mainly Vietnamese illegal migrants into the UK behind the lorry in August and September 2020.
The man is now being questioned on charges of facilitating illegal immigration into the UK and money laundering.
NCA branch operations manager, Paul Boniface, said the agency is “determined to disrupt and destroy the networks of people trafficked wherever they operate.”
“These groups treat people as objects of profit and are quite happy to risk their lives on dangerous journeys in the back of trucks or in small boats.”
Boniface said the investigation is still ongoing because “protecting lives and preventing exploitation is our priority.”
The NCA did not disclose whether this latest arrest was in any way linked to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese illegal migrants in 2019.
39 illegal immigrants aged 15 to 44 died of suffocation in the back of a refrigerated lorry as they tried to travel to the UK on October 23, 2019.
On January 22, 2021, seven people convicted in connection with the deaths of 39 immigrants were sentenced to a total of 93 years and eight months in prison.
In June, UK police arrested a Vietnamese national in connection with the incident. The NCA said at the time that he was allegedly part of a human trafficking network that follows lorries to the UK via Belgium and France.
Human traffickers often hide illegal immigrants inside lorries headed to the UK to evade customs checks, a practice that puts the lives of immigrants at risk.
In March, a Turkish lorry driver was arrested after 16 illegal immigrants from Morocco, Algeria and Pakistan were found hiding in a lorry trailer.
In February, police in Cambridgeshire reported two incidents in which they rescued illegal immigrants from behind refrigerated lorries.
In 2000, 58 Chinese immigrants were found dead in the back of a truck in Dover. The driver was later found guilty of murder.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times