Smuggler of Vietnamese people nabbed in UK

By Sen    January 17, 2020 | 05:41 pm PT
Smuggler of Vietnamese people nabbed in UK
Khanh Chan (R) is arrested by the U.K. National Crime Agency in East Sussex, England, January 16, 2019. Photo by the U.K. National Crime Agency.
A 39-year-old Vietnamese man was arrested in East Sussex, U.K., Thursday under a European Arrest Warrant.

He was wanted for smuggling people through France into other European countries.

Khanh Chan, or Khanh Ngoc Nguyen, was found in the southern seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea by the joint efforts of the U.K.’s National Crime Agency and French authorities.

The agency said Chan used France as a transit point from where he put people into trucks to be taken to the U.K. and several other countries in Europe.

Last September, a court in Paris awarded an eight-year jail sentence in absentia for human smuggling. French prosecutors said he had been an active smuggler between 2015 and 2017.

He will remain in custody in the U.K. until he's transferred to France to serve his sentence after extradition proceedings on Friday, the agency said.

Steve Reynolds, who heads the agency’s department of organized immigration crime operations, said Chan played an important role in an organized criminal group that smuggles people around the world.

"People smugglers treat migrants like a commodity, and the tragic events last year in Essex demonstrated how little care for their safety these kinds of gangs have," Reynolds said.

Human trafficking, especially to the U.K., came under sharper global scrutiny following the incident of 39 Vietnamese people found dead in a refrigerated container truck in Grays, Essex County, east of London, October 23.

The youngest victim was 15 years old and the oldest was 44. Their remains were repatriated to Vietnam five weeks after.

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