Five North East men charged as part of major Kurdish people smuggling network investigation

Arrests taking place as part of the investigation into the network Credit: NCA

Five men from the North East have been charged as part of a major National Crime Agency investigation into an organised criminal network alleged to have smuggled hundreds of Iraqi-Kurdish migrants into the UK.

A man from London has also been charged as part of this investigation.

The group, aged between 27 and 47, were all arrested during a series of raids carried out by the NCA and policing partners in February 2018.

They stand accused of being part of a Kurdish network which would use lorries to transport people from France, Belgium and the Netherlands into the UK. A number of HGVs were intercepted on their way.

The migrants would be charged between £5,000 and £10,000 for that leg of the journey.

The six are due to appear before Newcastle-upon-Tyne Magistrates Court on Thursday (23 September).

The NCA investigation has been supported by Project Invigor, the UK organised immigration crime taskforce led by the NCA but also including officers from Immigration, Enforcement, Border Force and the CPS. In the UK, Cleveland, Northumbria, Durham, Sussex and the Metropolitan Police have also assisted.