A Southampton man has been arrested on suspicion of people smuggling after dawn raids across the UK.

He is one of four men suspected of bringing people into the country on cars, ferries, and commercial flights.

Immigration enforcement officers raided a property in Victoria Road in Southampton on April 17 and arrested a 27-year-old Kurdish Iraqi man.

Raids were also carried out at addresses in Middlesbrough, Huddersfield, and Stockport.

Arrests include a 43-year-old British man in Huddersfield, a 36-year-old Kurdish Iraqi in Stockport, and a British 43-year-old in Middlesborough.

Around 50 people are thought to have entered the UK illegally since 2022 using this criminal network, according to the Home Office.

Michael Tomlinson, minister for countering illegal migration, said those involved in this kind of criminality can expect to be brought to justice – “wherever you are in the UK.”

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The Home Office described those arrested as being "of British and Kurdish nationality" and they have been detained for further questioning.

The group’s operations are believed to have spanned Europe, with smuggling attempts occurring at borders with France and the Republic of Ireland.

It is also thought the suspects manufactured fake passports, national identity cards and blank visas, before going on to sell them for more than £1,000 each, according to the Home Office.

Those brought to the UK by the criminal group were predominantly Kurdish and Vietnamese nationals.

Home Office criminal and financial investigator, Paul Harvey, said: “This has been a large and well-planned operation executed across the entire country.

“We are working tirelessly to disrupt and dismantle the networks of criminals helping migrants to enter the UK illegally.

“I’m grateful to my team for their commitment and determination in this investigation.

“We will now work hard to ensure these suspects are put behind bars.”