Dalston crackdown to smash people smuggling ring

Police tape

Police tape - Credit: Archant

Two people were arrested in Dalston suspected of playing a role in a people-smuggling ring bringing Albanians into the country.

Immigration Enforcement officers made the arrests on Wednesday last week as part of a pan-European investigation called Operation Tantaluf into a suspected organised crime group.

A 47-year old Albanian man was arrested using a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) at an address in Queensbridge Road, by specialist officers from Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigations team.

A 23-year-old Lithuanian woman was also arrested at the same address on suspicion of facilitation.

Another Albanian man, aged 36 was arrested in Old Church Road, Chingford for playing a role in the smuggling.

Officers also arrested two further Albanian men on suspicion of entering the country illegally; a 23-year-old found at the same address in Chingford and a 22-year-old found in Becontree Avenue, Dagenham.

The older Albanian men arrested remain in custody while investigations continue, and the Lithuanian woman has been bailed pending further inquiries.

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The Home Office is now taking steps to remove the two illegal entrants from the UK.

The investigation which began two years ago was led by Immigration Enforcement in the UK in partnership with Eurojust and Europol, and also involved law enforcement agencies from Belgium, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Assistant Director Martin Huxley, from the Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigations Team, said: “This has been a lengthy and complex operation involving close collaboration with a number of law enforcement partners across Europe.

“Our specialist teams will rigorously investigate allegations of immigration related criminality.”