People smuggler convicted in France found in Sussex

Chan was a 'big player' in the international people smuggling network Image copyright NCA
Image caption Chan was a 'big player' in the international people smuggling network

A people smuggler who was convicted in France while on the run has been found and arrested in East Sussex.

Khanh Chan, 39, also known as Khanh Ngoc Nguyen, was part of a Vietnamese organised crime group responsible for smuggling migrants from Vietnam to the UK.

French prosecutors said he was actively smuggling people between 2015 and 2017 and was convicted in his absence.

National Crime Agency inspectors traced him to Bexhill-on-Sea.

Chan will now be subject to extradition proceedings so he can be sent to France to serve his eight-year prison sentence.

Image copyright NCA
Image caption National Crime Agency inspectors arrested Khanh Chan

He remains in custody until that process begins.

He is due to appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.

As part of the smuggling operation people would be transported through France, then hidden in lorries through the Channel ports into the UK.

Steve Reynolds, NCA head of organised immigration crime operations, said Chan was a "significant player" in the gang.

"People smugglers treat migrants like a commodity, and the tragic events last year in Essex demonstrated how little care for their safety these kinds of gangs have."

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