Irish pair are charged with human trafficking after 10 migrants including two children are found inside lorry carrying tyres in Belgium
- Two Irish men charged with suspected human trafficking of 10 Asian migrants
- Eight adults and two children were found in back of lorry near Ghent in Belgium
- NCA officers also conducted a raid in two UK properties, seizing two firearms
Two Irish men have been charged with human trafficking after 10 migrants including two children were found inside a lorry carrying tyres in Belgium.
Wayne Sherlock, 39, and Eoin Nowlan, 48, were arrested in Dover, Kent, following the discovery of suspected southeast Asians in the vehicle near Ghent.
The 64-year-old lorry driver was arrested by Belgian authorities, and a 30-year-old man in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland was also detained.
The driver has been remanded in custody while the man from Northern Ireland was released on bail following questioning by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers.
Sherlock and Nowlan are both charged with alleged conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration, the NCA has confirmed. The pair were remanded in custody following a hearing at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court today.
Pictured: NCA officers during a training exercise. They have been investigating two Irish men charged with human trafficking after a lorry containing 10 migrants was held up in Belgium
Two properties in England and Northern Ireland were also searched by NCA officers, with two suspected firearms seized in the Kent raid.
The NCA’s Gerry McLean said: ‘Our close working with our Belgian partners in this instance has 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.
‘We have seen only recently in Essex the tragic consequences which these types of attempts can have. Working with partners at home and abroad, we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in illegal immigration, and our investigation into this matter continues.’
West Flanders Prosecutor Frank Demeester added: ‘This kind of human smuggling is very dangerous, and the operation proves once more that international cooperation works in the fight against this type of organised crime.
‘The contacts between the British NCA and Belgian Federal Judicial Police, maritime police and prosecutors have become more intense in recent years.
‘In the fight against human smuggling, the UK is obviously an important partner as being the country of destination.’