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69 migrants found off Norfolk coast in smuggling operation, court hears

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Six men conspired to smuggle 69 Albanian migrants into the UK on a converted fishing boat stopped off the coast of Great Yarmouth in a "sophisticated" and "highly lucrative" operation, a court heard.

The near 30-metre-long trawler, called the Svanic, was intercepted by UK Border Force vessels late on November 17 last year and was escorted into Harwich.

Three men, described by the prosecution as crew members, were arrested when the boat reached land in the early hours of November 18.

Three more men, said to be "UK-based organisers", were subsequently arrested and all six were charged with conspiring to assist unlawful immigration between September 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020.

Five deny the charge and are on trial while one of the alleged "UK-based organisers" has admitted the offence.

Tony Badenoch QC, prosecuting, told a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court that after it was seized the Svanic was inspected and found to........

© Eastern Daily Press

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