A British man has been arrested on suspicion of people smuggling after reportedly using his own recreational watercraft to bring illegal migrants to Britain earlier this year.
National Crime Agency (NCA) officials confirmed a 57-year-old man was arrested by police in Lydford, Devon, on Tuesday.
The arrest followed a lengthy investigation into the practices of the individual, who allegedly had ferried over at least 10 migrants from the Normandy coastline in France to southwest England back in June.
A number of people were seen running to waiting cars after leaving the boat as it moored at Slapton Sands in Devon on June 15, according to local reports.
The British enforcement agency announced in a press release on Wednesday the man had been taken into custody to be interviewed by NCA officers.
NCA Branch Commander Matt Rivers said: “This arrest follows a lengthy investigation into an individual we think has been using his boat to bring migrants into the UK illegally.
“While transporting people in a larger boat may appear safer, it remains extremely dangerous to be making any unauthorized journey in the Channel. People smugglers pay no regard to the lives of the people they are transporting.
“Tackling organized immigration crime is a key priority for the NCA, and we work to target and disrupt organized crime groups involved at each step of the route.”