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Men arrested in Dover after global migrant lorry smuggling operation

Two men have been arrested and suspected firearms were seized in Dover as part of an international crackdown into people smuggling.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested the two Irish nationals, 39 and 48, on Thursday, March 5, and carried out searches in the area for firearms.

National Crime Agency officers made the arrests after an investigation into illegal people smuggling
National Crime Agency officers made the arrests after an investigation into illegal people smuggling

A total of seven undercover vehicles were spotted in Market Square, where it is thought the two men were removed from a car and arrested.

Two suspected firearms were discovered by officers at a property in the area.

Officials made the arrests in the seaside town following the discovery of 10 migrants in a lorry carrying a load of tyres near Ghent in Belgium on Thursday.

The migrants, believed to be two adults and eight children, are thought to be from south east Asia.

NCA regional head of investigation Gerry McLean said: "Our close working with our Belgian partners in this instance has led to the safeguarding of a number of migrants who had been put in a very dangerous situation, and we are grateful for their support.

Police tape (stock image) (30847066)
Police tape (stock image) (30847066)

"We have seen only recently in Essex the tragic consequences which these types of attempts can have.

"Working with partners at home and abroad, we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in illegal immigration, and our investigation into this matter continues.”

The arrests were part of a larger international investigation into the transportation of migrants in lorries into the UK from other countries.

The driver of the vehicle in Belgium, a 64-year-old man from Glasgow, was arrested by the Belgian authorities.

A fourth man was arrested earlier today in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Two men were arrested. Stock picture.
Two men were arrested. Stock picture.

Investigations have been sparked after 39 migrants were found dead in the back of a lorry near the Dartford Crossing.

On Monday, November, 25 last year, Maurice Robinson, from Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to plotting to assist illegal immigration after being accused over the 39 deaths.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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