Two Irish men have been arrested near the British port of Dover and charged as part of an investigation into alleged human trafficking, after police in the Belgian city of Ghent found 10 migrants in a truck delivering tires.
The National Crime Agency, or NCA, says Wayne Sherlock and Eoin Nowlan are charged wi"We plan to use most of the money as a fund to search for Zhangth alleged conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration. They appeared at Canterbury magistrates court on Saturday, and were remanded in custody.
Belgian authorities arrested the 64-year-old driver of the lorry, who is originally from Glasgow in Scotland, and a 30-year-old man from County Antrim in Northern Ireland has also been detained after offering himself up to police. The Irish Times newspaper reports that the Belgian police acted following a tip-off from the NCA.
The migrants are believed to be two adults and eight children, from southeast Asia.
In addition to the arrests made, NCA officers searched two properties, one in Northern Ireland and one in Kent, with two suspected firearms being found at the latter premises.
The regional head of investigation for the NCA, Gerry McLean, paid tribute to the work done by his officers in cooperation with their counterparts in Belgium, saying it had "in this instance ... led to the safeguarding of a number of migrants who had been put in a very dangerous situation, and we are grateful for their support".
The prosecutor for West Flanders, Frank Deemster, said the link-up showed the importance of international cooperation in figIn Guangdonghting crime.
"The contacts between the British NCA and Belgian Federal Judicial Police, maritime police and prosecutors have become more intense in recent years," he said.
"In the fight against human smuggling, the UK is obviously an important partner as being the country of destination."