Ukrainians charged with people smuggling after arrival of yacht in Southwold with 19 migrants

The vessel arrived in Southwold having sailed across the North Sea from the Netherlands.

Four Ukrainian men have been charged with people smuggling after a yacht with 19 migrants on board landed on the Suffolk coast.

Yuril Dzhuraniuk, 26, Mykhailo Riok, 27, Yevhenii Vasilikov, 30, and Yupi Karakin, 27, were arrested after the vessel arrived in Southwold on Sunday, having sailed across the North Sea from the Netherlands.

All four have been charged with facilitating illegal migration and are due to appear at central London's Blackfriars Crown Court on November 14.

Officers from the Border Force and National Crime Agency (NCA), patrolling the waters on the vessel Alert, boarded the yacht after it reached port.

Two suspected crew members were arrested along with nine migrants. Two drivers and 10 other migrants were arrested after vehicles heading towards Ipswich were stopped by officers from Suffolk Police, the NCA said.

The group of 19 migrants, consisting of both men and women, were detained by the Government's immigration enforcement agency.

Brendan Foreman, the NCA's regional head of investigations, said: "The majority of illegal migrants rely on organised criminals when coming to the UK with their fate upon arrival often being unknown.

"Such criminals seek to exploit vulnerable people for profit without any thought for their safety.

Doug McLellan, head of Border Force Maritime Command, said: "This is one example of how Border Force works constantly to protect the UK's coastline, with our coastal patrol vessels playing a key role in this.

"These boats carry out regular patrols of our waters, and are always ready to respond quickly when needed.

"We will continue to join forces with law enforcement partners to protect our borders against those who seek to abuse our immigration laws."