Two charged in small boat people smuggling investigation

Two men have been charged as part of an Immigration Enforcement investigation into a suspected small boat people smuggling incident in Southwold.

Denys Khvatkov, 19, and Bohdan Lutskyi, 29, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Monday (3 August) charged with facilitating a breach of the UK’s immigration laws. The Ukrainian nationals were remanded in custody to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on 1 September.

The men had been arrested on Friday (31 July) after a Border Force cutter had targeted a yacht as it sailed from the Netherlands towards the east coast of the UK.

When the sailing vessel moored at Southwold Harbour shortly after 9pm, Border Force officers boarded the yacht and found four people – Khvatkov, Lutskyi and two Albanian nationals with no leave to enter the UK.

Following the arrests the case was referred to Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigation team.

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said:

We will not tolerate ruthless criminals looking to break the law by smuggling people into the UK illegally.

Working together with partners at home and abroad, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement are determined to disrupt and dismantle organised immigration crime networks. Those who profit from the misery of others will be brought to justice.

The Albanian nationals are being dealt with in line with the immigration rules.

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