East Ham money laundering suspect arrested in people smuggling probe

NCA investigation into small boat people smuggling.

A 45-year-old living in East Ham was arrested in the Wood Green area and is being questioned on suspicion of money laundering offences. - Credit: National Crime Agency

A man living in East Ham who is suspected of money laundering and handling payments relating to people smuggling has been arrested.

The 45-year-old Iranian national was detained in the Wood Green area by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers yesterday (February 23).

Investigators suspect he has been involved in processing payments made by migrants who successfully reached the UK in small boats.

NCA branch commander Matt Rivers said: “Organised criminals need money launderers to process their profits and make that money seem legitimate.

“In tackling organised immigration crime, we are focusing on those who enable this criminality, whether it be through social media advertising, transport or financial services.

“Those who provide these services are essentially assisting an activity that exploits desperation for profit and puts lives dangerously at risk."

The arrest was made as part of an operation carried out by Project Invigor, an organised immigration crime taskforce led by the NCA and including Immigration Enforcement, Border Force, the CPS and the Home Office.