THREE men have been charged on suspicion of smuggling dozens of Albanian nationals into the country on a fishing boat.

The boat, which was hiding 69 Albanian nationals on board, was intercepted by law enforcement agencies off the Norfolk coast and escorted into Harwich Harbour.

As part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the attempted smuggling, Arturas Jusas, aged 34, a Lithuanian national living in Lambeth, Kfir Ivgi, 32, an Israeli national living in Finchley and Sergejs Kuliss, 39, living in Kent were subsequently arrested.

The trio have now all been charged and they were detained by National Crime Agency officers in a series of raids on Tuesday.


The Crown Prosecution Service has now authorised charges of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration, and they were due to appear before Southend Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The operation follows the interception of the fishing boat Svanic off the coast of East Anglia on November 17 last year as part of a joint operation involving the National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force.

The operation at Harwich was also assisted by Essex Police.

The boat had sailed from the Ostend area of Belgium and was carrying 69 Albanian passengers.

It was escorted into Harwich Harbour where the three crew, a Latvian national and two Ukrainian nationals, were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.

They were subsequently charged.

The Albanian nationals, found on a fishing boat, were charged by Home Office officials with entering the UK illegally, but they had not reached the country at the time of the interception.


In December, the charges against the all of the migrants on board the 30-metre boat were dropped.

The Home Office said at the time it was "disappointed" that the proceedings against the migrants charged with illegal entry was discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service.