Man charged with people trafficking

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Published: Tuesday 2nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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A man arrested at Dover port as part of an operation which also saw five terror suspects held has been charged with people trafficking offences.

Laurentia-vasilica Zahria, 37, of no fixed abode, was charged with facilitating non European Union travel to a member state, the Metropolitan Police said.

He has been remanded in custody to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

Five men arrested on suspicion of terror offences remain in custody.

Two men, aged 33 and 43, were arrested in Dover at 11.30pm on Sunday by Scotland Yard anti-terror officers with support armed officers and Kent Police, while a 28-year-old man was arrested at the same port yesterday morning.

Under the same operation, two men, aged 24 and 40, were arrested yesterday in east London. All five are being held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

It is understood the operation was in connection to Syria-related terrorism.

One of those arrested on suspicion of terror offences was reportedly an associate of radical preacher Anjem Choudary and was one of nine man, including Mr Choudary, who were arrested in September as part of another investigation into Islamist terrorism.

A further 12 men and one woman who were stopped in the same vehicle were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

The arrests were made at the end of counter-terrorism awareness week, which saw increased activity at ports across the country.

Britain’s chief counter-terror police officer warned the current threat to the UK from jihadists will remain for ”several years”.

The terror threat level in the UK was raised from substantial to severe a few months ago against a backdrop of increasing concerns over hundreds of aspiring British jihadis travelling to Iraq and Syria to learn terrorist ”tradecraft”.

Fears of a terrorist attack on Britain’s streets have heightened in the wake of the rise of Islamic State (IS), the extremist group that has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria and attracted thousands of foreign jihadists to its cause, including more than 500 Britons.

Last week, a new Counter-terrorism and Security Bill, containing a range of draconian powers including new orders that can block suspected British fighters from returning to the UK, was introduced to Parliament.

Published: Tuesday 2nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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