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Channel crossings: Woman arrested in Glasgow while more two suspected people-smugglers are detained

A woman has been arrested in Scotland as part of investigation into the alleged supply of small boats to cross-Channel people smugglers.

On Thursday evening (April 8), the 33-year-old woman from the Hammersmith area of west London was arrested by the National Crime Agency at a location in Glasgow.

She was taken to Carlisle police station, where she was questioned by NCA investigators on suspicion of attempting to facilitate illegal immigration.

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On Friday morning, she was released under investigation.

Her arrest followed the detention of two UK-based suspects on Wednesday by officers of the Dutch Royal Marechaussee (KMar) in The Hague, Netherlands.

The pair, a 33-year-old from Hammersmith, and the other a 28-year-old man of no fixed abode, remain in custody and now face potential prosecution by the Dutch authorities.

A number of deflated boats were also seized.

The arrests are all linked to an NCA investigation into the sourcing of rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) in the UK and Europe, which are then transported to the Netherlands for storage.

Three people have been arrested following an investigation into the alleged supply of small boats to cross-Channel people smugglers.
Three people have been arrested following an investigation into the alleged supply of small boats to cross-Channel people smugglers.

The boats are allegedly then supplied to organised crime groups involved in smuggling people across the English Channel from northern France and Belgium.

NCA Regional Head of Investigation Jacque Beer said: “Smuggling people across the Channel in small boats is extremely hazardous and can have tragic consequences.

“The organised crime groups behind these attempts don’t care about safety or preservation of life, they just see migrants as a commodity to profit from and exploit.

“In our view those who supply them with boats knowing what they are going to be used for are equally as culpable in these criminal enterprises.

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The Scotsman

The Scotsman is a Scottish compact newspaper and daily news website headquartered in Edinburgh. First established as a radical political paper in 1817, it began daily publication in 1855 and remained a broadsheet until August 2004. Its parent company, JPIMedia, also publishes the Edinburgh Evening News.

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