Arrest over illegal immigrants

Eighteen people have been arrested on suspicion of helping to smuggle Sri Lankan illegal immigrants into Britain in a series of dawn raids across Europe, including in Luton and Essex.

Around 120 immigration and police officers from Home Office Immigration Enforcement and Kent Police searched addresses in London, Luton and Essex on Wednesday morning, while properties in France and Germany were also raided.

Eleven people were arrested in England, and seven were arrested in France, the Home Office said.

Those arrested are suspected of being part of an alleged criminal network that smuggles Sri Lankans into the UK through the Channel ports at a charge of around £4,500 per person.

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