Police CRACK DOWN on people-smuggling operation between Bolivia and UK with spate of arrests

A series of arrests have been carried out in South London.
A series of arrests have been carried out in South London.

Two men and one woman were arrested at two separate addresses on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration

Published

A suspected Organised Crime Group (OCG) linked to a people-smuggling operation between Bolivia and the UK has been arrested.

A series of warrants in South London were issued as the police looked to bring down the group.

The warrants were executed in South London after an investigation by Home Office officials from the Criminal and Financial Investigations (CFI) team.

Two men and one woman were arrested at two separate addresses on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration.

Arrests included a man aged 41-years-old at an address in Camberwell and a man aged 38-years-old at an address in Peckham along with a woman aged 35-years-old.

A male and a female were also located in the Peckham property and identified as illegal migrants from Bolivia.

They will be processed by the Immigration Compliance and Enforcement accordingly.

At the same address, £1,500 in cash and two false identity documents were discovered.

The money seized will be processed using proceeds of crime legislation as searches of both properties continue.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said the actions underline the Government’s “determination” to clamp down on people traffickers.

He said: “These individuals thought they were beyond the reach of the law - they were proved wrong.

“Today’s operation sends a clear message to people smugglers and those thinking about abusing our immigration laws: you will be caught and brought to justice swiftly.”

So far this year, there have been 52 convictions relating to people smuggling cases, resulting in a combined total of over 82 years in prosecutions. This includes 21 small boats related convictions for a total of over 11 years and 31 convictions for facilitating migrants in vehicles for a total of over 72 years.