THE National Crime Agency have revealed that a man wanted in Belgium on suspicion of smuggling Vietnamese migrants found dead in a lorry in Essex was arrested in Redditch.
The man, who goes under a number of aliases but in court was named as Mr Tai, was located by NCA officers at an address in Redditch and was arrested last month on a European Arrest Warrant issued by a Belgian investigating judge.
He is now subject to extradition proceedings and has been remanded in custody until a hearing due on March 12, 2021.
The man is wanted by Belgian prosecutors who allege he was a member of a criminal network involved in large scale organised people smuggling.
He is suspected of having been involved in transporting at least ten of the 39 migrants found dead in Essex, moving them from a safe house in Anderlecht, Brussels, in taxis to a location near the French/Belgian border before they were put onto the lorry.
After hearing the migrants had died, it is alleged he fled Belgium and initially went to Germany before moving to the UK.
The NCA said details of the arrest could now be released following the conclusion of a trial at the Old Bailey which saw four people found guilty of their involvement in a people smuggling ring which led to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese men, women and children in October last year.