A man has appeared in court charged with people smuggling offences as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into a network suspected of moving migrants out of the UK.

The accused aged 28, and from Macedonia was arrested by NCA officers at Javelin Way, Ashford, Kent on the morning of Saturday 5 August.

With him at the time was a 22-year-old Albanian national wanted for breaching a court order imposed after his conviction for drug offences. He was also arrested and taken into custody.

After being questioned the man from Macedonia was charged with participating in the activities of a people smuggling organised crime group.

He appeared before Folkestone Magistrates on Monday 7 August where he was remanded in custody until his next hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on 4 September.

NCA Branch Commander Matt Rivers said: “Tackling organised immigration crime is a priority for the NCA and we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle the networks involved. 

“Those who help people leave the UK in lorries not only pose a risk to the individuals being transported themselves but also to border security.

“We’ve seen cases of people wanted for serious criminal offences in the UK try and escape this way. This is why we and our law enforcement partners are alive to the threat.”

By Ed

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