Two lorry drivers have been arrested and accused of transporting migrants for a people smuggling kingpin who operated from east London. 

The men, aged 43 and 49, were both arrested in Romania and now face extradition back to the UK where they are accused of smuggling offences. 

National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators believe both men were working for an organised crime group headed by Md Mokter Hossain, a 54-year-old from Gaynes Hill Road in Woodford Green

Hossain was jailed for more than 10 years in June for directing a network which used complicit lorry drivers to move people in both directions across the Channel. 

One of the arrested men is accused of attempting to smuggle nine migrants out of the UK in September 2020. 

The NCA said he was allowed to proceed once the migrants were removed from the lorry but he was later allegedly linked to the crime group and arrested. 

He remains in custody in Romania. 

The second man is accused of having dropped two migrants he had smuggled into the UK at Thurrock Services in Essex in February 2021. 

He was extradited back to the UK on Tuesday (September 12). 

NCA senior investigating officer Chris Hill said: "Engaging complicit lorry drivers was critical to Hossain’s people smuggling business model."