Published: 14:03, 23 September 2021
| Updated: 15:24, 23 September 2021
A taxi driver suspected of being involved in smuggling Vietnamese people into the UK in the back of lorries has been arrested.
The 40-year-old, from Chatham, was arrested this morning by the National Crime Agency.
Officers were spotted near Rochester Street at around 9am.
Yesterday a 32-year-old taxi driver was arrested in Bolton, Lancashire, with £15,000 seized from his home.
Both were detained on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration but have now been released.
The arrests are linked to an investigation which saw a man charged following an NCA operation in Birmingham last week.
Vietnamese national Ho Sy Quoc, aged 21, appeared before Birmingham magistrates on September 14 charged with assisting unlawful immigration.
'People smugglers treat migrants as a commodity to be profited from and are quite happy to put lives at risk in dangerous journeys in the back of trucks or in small boats.'
The charges related to the alleged smuggling of Vietnamese migrants into the UK in the backs of lorries in August and September 2020. He was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on 12 October.
NCA branch operations manager Paul Boniface said: “Organised immigration crime groups require significant infrastructure – from transport to finance or advertising. These are all things we are seeking to disrupt.
“People smugglers treat migrants as a commodity to be profited from and are quite happy to put lives at risk in dangerous journeys in the back of trucks or in small boats.
“Protecting life and preventing exploitation are our priorities, and this investigation continues.”
In October 2019, 39 Vietnamese people were found dead in the back of a lorry near the Dartford tunnel.