Second arrest made in Preston in investigation into small boat crime network

The 25-year-old Iraqi national is suspected of being involved in planning the movement of migrants across Europe and into northern France, with their end destination being the UK.

He was detained this morning (July 10) by NCA investigators on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration and obtaining leave to remain by deception at an address in New Rough Hey, Preston, and is now being questioned.

The arrest follows a similar operation in Preston in May, which led to NCA officers arresting Iranian national Amanj Hasan Zada, aged 34, of Stefano Road.

He was charged with facilitating illegal immigration in relation to two small boat crossings made in November and December 2023 and remains remanded in custody until his next court appearance at Preston Crown Court on 2 September.

NCA Senior Investigating Officer Al Mullen said: "Our investigation into a network we believe to be involved in organising small boat crossings continues following today's arrest.

"Tackling organised immigration crime remains a priority for the NCA, and we are determined to do all we can, working with partners in the UK, Europe and beyond, to disrupt and dismantle the criminal networks involved."

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