It was a tragedy that despatched shockwaves throughout Europe as a household drowned attempting to cross the Channel, with the physique of their toddler son Artin Iran-Nejad later washing ashore some 700 miles away.
However now the suspected kingpin trafficker who is assumed to have organised the lethal journey has been arrested.
A French and British undercover police operation led to the 36-year-old Iranian-Kurd’s seize at his spacious residence in Denmark.
The arrest got here simply hours earlier than he tried to flee Europe together with his spouse and two youngsters to flee justice.
The detainee is a suspected grasp prison, believed to have organised a whole lot of unlawful migrant boat crossings previously two years.
He was making ready to drive his automotive secretly from Denmark by way of Turkey to Iran, earlier than the online closed in on him in a daybreak raid final month.
Artin Iran-Nejad (pictured) tragically drowned alongside his household whereas attempting to cross the English Channel earlier than being found by fishermen some 700 miles away in Norway
It comes after Iranian building employee Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, his spouse Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, together with youngsters Anita, 9, Armin, six, and 15-month-old Artin drowned off the coast of Dunkirk final October.
Their boat had capsized, with two different migrants additionally dying, and 15 surviving. 4 of the Iran-Nejad household’s our bodies had been recovered from the water – however Artin was swept off to sea.
His physique was present in a blue total and life jacket by fishermen in Norway on New Yr’s Day, however was not recognized till June this 12 months.
Final evening, a British supply mentioned: ‘We had been about to lose this trafficker. He deliberate to depart Denmark and return to his residence nation of Iran.
‘A French arrest warrant on him had been issued and he knew issues had been getting sizzling for him in France and Europe.
‘We suspect he deliberate to proceed, even broaden, his trafficking actions, shopping for boats, outboards and organising the migrant crossings, on his return to Iran. That’s the reason we needed to discover him. He needed to be stopped.’
A seek for the suspect started a 12 months in the past earlier than the drowning of Artin and his household.
The Iranian-Kurd was believed to be a central cog in one of many greatest Channel boat-trafficking operations with tentacles stretching again to Iran.
A complicated undercover surveillance operation by French police and Britain’s Nationwide Crime Company led to his arrest on the eleventh hour, the Day by day Mail can disclose.
He’s now in a Danish jail awaiting extradition to France dealing with costs of negligent manslaughter over little Artin and his household. The reputed kingpin can be anticipated to be accused by the French of aiding unlawful immigration and high-level involvement in a prison trafficking gang.
Capturing the suspect – whose identify the Mail is aware of however just isn’t disclosing for authorized causes – is an excellent joint coup for France and Britain within the struggle towards Channel boat crossings run with slick, merciless effectivity by worldwide criminals reaping tens of millions.
It’s claimed he had been slipping from his residence in Denmark into northern France to supervise boat crossings earlier than the horrible deaths.
Household tragedy: Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35 (far left), Anita, aged 9 (centre), Armin, aged six (second from proper) and Shiva Mohammed Panahi, 35 (far proper), all drowned alongside Artin (pictured on relative’s knee second from left)
The suspect has a ‘peeping Tom’ conviction after he was caught spying on a lady as she was getting undressed at residence.
He denied the offence, however was fined 5,000 Danish kroner (£470).
The hunt for him was stepped up after Artin and his household’s drownings and his suspected involvement.
The French issued a warrant for the suspected kingpin, however he stopped going there when he found it existed.
Simply earlier than his early-hours arrest on June 22 at his residence within the metropolis of Viborg, a three-hour drive north-west of Copenhagen, intelligence had been obtained that he was plotting an imminent getaway.
At an emergency in a single day court docket, a Danish choose issued an arrest warrant for him which was served on the suspect at 5am at his residence.
Crucially, the Danish warrant – in contrast to the French one which solely lined his actions in France – stopped his escape from the nation again to Iran.
A supply mentioned yesterday: ‘As soon as he acquired to Turkey, it will have been close to inconceivable to get him again.
If he had crossed the border from there to Iran, there would have been little hope of ever catching him.’
Danish prosecutor Niclas Nissen, who had obtained proof from French and British authorities, requested the court docket final week to increase the suspect’s detention, and he’ll stay in jail pending extradition proceedings till August 18.
The Iran-Nejad household drowned when their flimsy boat capsized off Loon-Plage close to Dunkirk.
Fellow migrants describe seeing traffickers forcing individuals aboard the boat in perilous circumstances, together with winds of as much as 47mph, earlier than it set off for Kent.
Distraught mates mentioned the household had agonised over making the crossing simply hours earlier than the catastrophe – the worst within the Channel in the course of the migrant disaster.