TWENTY-six people thought to be linked to trafficking from Vietnam to the UK have been arrested by police investigating the deaths of 39 Vietnamese in a lorry in 2019.
Thirteen people, including Moroccans and Vietnamese, were held in Brussels and 13 more in Paris, authorities say.
They are allegedly part of a gang involved in smuggling the group found dead in a lorry in Essex last October.
A UK report found the migrants all died from asphyxia and hypothermia.
Belgian prosecutors said the suspects had probably “transported up to several dozen people every day for several months”.
The smuggling network, they said, was suspected of having made the October 2019 trip possible.
The EU’s Agency for Criminal Justice Co-operation (Eurojust) said police had carried out cross-border raids on Tuesday morning in an operation that involved four nations – the UK, France, Belgium and Ireland – along with Europol.
A number of people had earlier been arrested in connection with the deaths, including several in Vietnam.