Lorry driver arrested for smuggling migrants out of of UK

Lorry Driver Arrested for Attempted Smuggling of Migrants As New Immigration Plans Awaited

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The National Crime Agency (NCA) announced the arrest of a 36-year old Turkish lorry driver accused of smuggling 16 migrants out of the UK. Officers from Surrey Police and the Metropolitan Police Service apprehended the driver off the M25 on a slip road as part of an ongoing NCA investigation. 

Sixteen migrants, including Moroccan, Pakistani, and Algerian nationals, were discovered in the back of the lorry, heading towards the Channel Ports in Kent. All sixteen migrants were arrested on immigration offences and are now in the custody of Border Force officers. 

Wooden pallets were purposely laid out in the trailer to accommodate them. After this discovery, NCA officials are now questioning the driver under the suspicion of intentional smuggling due to the arrangement at the back of the vehicle. 

The incident comes after increasing reports of illegal channel crossings and people smuggling across the UK, as migrants fear deportation threats as a result of the new immigration laws.

Chris Hill, the NCA branch operations manager, commented on the investigation, stating:

People smuggling networks move migrants in both directions across the border, threatening the security of both the UK and our European neighbours, but also putting lives at risk. 

‘We are determined to do all we can to disrupt those networks. Today’s operation is an example of that in action.’

Government’s Plans to Tackle People Smuggling 

Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to further restrict the asylum system, and life sentences for people smugglers.

Priti Patel's plans to tackle people smuggling
Priti Patel set to announce the government’s new immigration plans. [Image: Climaxnewsroom]

Immediate indefinite leave to remain status is also planned for any refugees who apply via the new resettlement route with adequate proof, the government has stated.

The new rules will replace the current legislation, which only accepts applications for indefinite leave to remain after people with refugee status have five years of residency in the UK.

However, the Home Office only plan to prioritise foreign nationals from countries in conflict over migrants already settled in other parts of Europe. 

The Home Secretary discussed the government’s new immigration plans, stating:  ‘We will continue to encourage asylum via safe and legal routes while at the same time toughening our stance towards illegal entry and the criminals that endanger life by enabling it.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to further restrict the asylum system, and life sentences for people smugglers.

According to Priti Patel, the new laws, which are set to be announced today aim to ‘break the human trade for asylum seekers’ by preventing illegal people smuggling both in and out of the UK. 

The question now is whether these new laws will be enough to reduce smuggling incidents, by road and sea, or will illegal trafficking continue through unapproved routes. Most asylum seekers will not be able to take the so-called ‘legal’ route. Therefore, they will not be entitled to permanent residency and the stability that comes with it, making them more inclined to leave the UK and relocate via illegal means.

[Header image: ITV.com]