Eleven held over ‘human smuggling’

Eleven people are in custody in the Netherlands as part of a “human smuggling” investigation after two people reportedly jumped from a North Sea ferry.

Stena ferry ‘jump’: Eleven held over ‘human smuggling’

Eleven people are in custody in the Netherlands as part of a “human smuggling” investigation after two people reportedly jumped from a North Sea ferry.

The pair, thought to be Albanians being deported from the UK, went overboard from the Stena Britannica ferry off Harwich, Essex, on Wednesday.

Rescue teams were stood down after no sign of the pair was found.

Coastguard teams are continuing to monitor the Suffolk coastline.

The pair were reported to have jumped from the vessel at about 09:45 GMT.

The ferry was later cleared to continue its journey to the Hook of Holland where 11 people are now in custody.

Robert Van Kapel, a spokesman for the Royal Dutch Police, said nine Albanians and two Vietnamese nationals were being questioned as part of an inquiry into “human smuggling”.

He said they had been found in a Belgian freight vehicle trying to enter the UK.

“In England the immigrants were found stuffed in this freight vehicle and they were sent back to Holland where the boat came from,” he said.

“One of the main questions we have is ‘Is there a human smuggling organisation active at this time?’ That’s what we are trying to find out.”

He said it was “unusual” that two people had jumped overboard, and that such a large number of people had been found in one vehicle.

“We hope to find out how they got in, how much they paid and who they paid the money to,” he said.

Source: BBC.

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