Vietnamese arrested in UK crackdown on human smuggling

By Phan Anh   February 11, 2022 | 01:06 am PT
Vietnamese arrested in UK crackdown on human smuggling
Police are seen at the scene where bodies were discovered in a truck container, in Grays, Essex, Britain October 23, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Peter Nicholls
A Vietnamese man in the U.K. was arrested for his involvement in a network smuggling compatriots to the U.K.

Mai Van Nguyen, 32, was arrested Tuesday in Birmingham on two charges, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering, Birmingham Mail reported.

The National Crime Agency, which made the arrest, said it was part of an investigation into the smuggling of people into the U.K., according to National News.

"These groups treat people as a commodity to be profited from and are quite happy to put lives at risk. We are determined to do all we can to stop them," said NCA Branch Operations Manager Paul Boniface.

Several arrests and charges have been made related to the smuggling of Vietnamese migrants into the U.K., with the most high-profile case being the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants on the back of a truck in Essex in October 2019.

Two victims were as young as 15, and most were from Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces in north-central Vietnam, where poor job prospects, environmental disasters and the promise of financial reward abroad fuel migration.

Among the arrested was Vo Van Hong, 45, the Vietnamese head of a human smuggling gang sentenced in Belgium to 15 years in jail for manslaughter.

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