Two men have been arrested on suspicion of arranging the illegal movement of migrants across the English Channel into the UK, the National Crime Agency said.
A 33-year-old Iranian national and a 24-year-old British man were arrested in Manchester on Wednesday evening.
A National Crime Agency spokeswoman said: “NCA officers have tonight (2 January 2019) arrested a 33-year-old Iranian national and a 24-year-old British man in Manchester, on suspicion of arranging the illegal movement of migrants across the English Channel into the UK.
“As the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time.”
The arrests come as it was revealed Home Secretary Sajid Javid had written to the Ministry of Defence to request use of the Royal Navy to help deal with the Channel migrant issue.
An MoD source told the Press Association that HMS Mersey, an offshore patrol vessel, is “available and ready” to be deployed.
It would represent a significant escalation of Britain’s response to the migrant crisis after Mr Javid earlier this week announced the redeployment of two Border Force cutters from the Mediterranean.