Four men charged for people smuggling offences

Four men have now been charged as part of a National Crime Agency investigation targeting people smugglers.

Two Albanian brothers, Arben Cakici, 48, and Astrit Cakici, 37, from Barking and Newham, who were living illegally in the UK, have been charged with facilitating illegal entry into the UK and possessing a firearm. Arben also faces a charge for carrying a knife.

The NCA made a series of arrests on Friday [16 Oct] after witnessing what is believed to have been a handover of four migrants from a lorry into two cars, near a service station in Kent at around 8am.

Two Romanian lorry drivers arrested at the scene, Ionut Colibei, 34, and Valerica Prutearu, 41, are also charged with facilitating illegal entry into the UK. Colibei was also charged for being in possession of a knife.

The four men will appear at a virtual court on Monday [19 October]. 

Searches in Newham on Friday also led to a further arrest of a 45-year old man from Albania, wanted for unrelated offences.

The four Albanian migrants [aged between 20 to 35] who were arrested on Friday are now being dealt with by Immigration Enforcement.

The 30-year-old male arrested in Hastings as part of a separate NCA operation, who is suspected of supplying small boats to aid people smugglers in France, has been released under investigation.