Private plane pilot charged for flying illegal immigrants into the United Kingdom

A pilot has been charged for flying illegal immigrants into the UK in a light aircraft.

A 52-year-old-man was detained by the National Crime Agency (NCA) at Deenethorpe Airfield near Corby, Northamptonshire.

He had flown a twin-engine plane from Belgium.

Four Albanian nationals were found in a taxi in Corby having just left the airfield and were detained under immigration powers.

The operation was supported by Northampton Police, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.

The pilot and the taxi driver, a 42-year-old man from Tooting in South London, were questioned by the NCA investigators.

The Albanian nationals detained were three men and a woman aged between 21 and 64.

NCA Regional Head of Investigations Jacque Beer said: “We know people smugglers use a range of methods to try and breach UK border controls and we remain alive to the threats.

“Working with our law enforcement partners we are determined to do all we can to stop them.

“The aviation and local community can play a vital role in preventing border crime, and whether you work in the aviation industry, are a keen pilot, or live locally, you should report any unusual or suspicious activity at a UK airfield or airport immediately.”