Pilot charged over alleged people smuggling attempt
A 52-year-old pilot has been charged with attempting to fly illegal immigrants into the UK in his aircraft.
Richard Styles, of no fixed abode, was detained during an operation led by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on March 24 at Deenethorpe Airfield near Corby, in Northamptonshire. He had just flown his twin-engine plane to the airfield from Belgium.
Officers from Northamptonshire Police, working alongside the NCA, stopped a taxi which had left the airfield on the Phoenix Parkway in Corby, arresting the driver and four Albanian nationals.
Both Styles and the taxi driver, a 42-year-old man from Tooting in South London, were questioned by NCA investigators. Styles has now been charged with facilitating a breach of immigration law.
The Albanian nationals, three men and a woman, aged between 21 and 64, remain detained under immigration powers.
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.”