Watch: Police bust suspect in Southgate wanted for allegedly refugee smuggling plot across the Channel

Isa Ertem is wanted by prosecutors in Bruges over an alleged bid to try and smuggle eight asylum seekers on a yacht last August 1.

A British national wanted in Belgium for trying to help smuggle a boat of refugees across the Channel to the UK has been arrested in London.

Isa Ertem is wanted by prosecutors in Bruges over an alleged bid to try and smuggle eight asylum seekers on a yacht last August 1.

The eight asylum seekers and the skipper of the vessel Rumrunner, which was going to be used for the crossing, were held by the Belgian authorities at a marina in the town of Nieuwpoort, near the French border.

A British national wanted in Belgium for trying to help smuggle a boat of refugees across the Channel to the UK has been arrested in London. Credit: NCA / SWNS

Evidence gathered by the Belgian Federal Police suggested Ertem’s vehicle was nearby at the time after the boat and skipper sailed to Belgium from a marina in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, the National Crime Agency said.

The 47-year-old was taken into custody by British law enforcement officers during a raid in Southgate, north London, this morning.

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A Belgian investigating magistrate issued an arrest warrant last month and Ertem will now appear before Westminster Magistrates where extradition proceedings will begin.

Body-worn camera footage showed Ertem being read his rights as he was arrested and then led to a waiting NCA van outside.

Martin Grace, the NCA’s head of organised immigration crime operations, said after the arrest: “The NCA continues to work closely with partners in France, Belgium and beyond to target the organised crime groups involved in cross-Channel people smuggling.

“We are clear that where we can identify there are UK links to this criminality we will take action.

“Organised immigration crime is exploitative and dangerous, we have seen the tragic consequences it can have. This is why it remains a priority for the NCA.”