The criminal mastermind behind a huge £800,000 people trafficking ring which helped more than 100 asylum seekers sneak into Britain could be freed within months, the Daily Mail reveals.
Iranian-born Ferzad Pezeshk, 39, arranged fake passports and flight tickets for fellow countrymen and Afghans and wired funds around the globe.
His gang charged between £5,000 and £12,000 to smuggle people out of their homelands, offering scheduled stop-offs at hotels in the Arab Emirates, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Norway, France and Sweden.
He was jailed last month for five years but he is likely to only serve only half the term – minus the 794 days he has already served on remand – meaning he could be freed in four months.
Inner London Crown Court. heard Pezeshk was given indefinite leave to remain in the UK after successfully applying for asylum in the late Nineties and claiming benefits ever since. He has enjoyed an affluent lifestyle in a four bedroom house in Barnet with a Chrysler parked in the driveway.
The married father-of-one took family holidays in Switzerland, frequently flew around the world and had installed a new £1,000 floor when he was arrested in October 2008.
The racket was smashed following an investigation by the UK Border Agency and a series of police raids at addresses in the Colindale and Hendon areas of north London.
Pezeshk admitted two charges of helping asylum seekers into the UK between January 2006 and September 2008, possessing identity documents with intent and using a false ID with intent.
Judge Simon Davis told Pezeshk: ‘The authorities trusted you and granted you indefinite leave and provided for you.
‘Regularly and consistently you abused that trust. You were the prime mover in a sophisticated criminal enterprise to enable asylum seekers to come to this country and you preyed on the misery and misfortune of others.’
The scam involved migrants leaving their countries secretly in lorries and staying at hotels and guest houses for up to a month before travelling to the UK.
Gang members used false credit cards to book flights for the clients via the internet.
A ‘fixer’ would then fly out to meet them before handing over false or stolen UK or European passports and e-boarding passes.
They would then accompany them on inter-European flights to less scrupulous smaller airports in either France or Sweden and they would then fly on to Stansted, handing their documents back to the helper.
After landing they would present themselves to the authorities and claim asylum.
Officers recovered 15 stolen passports including UK, Greek, Irish and American passports and Finnish identity documents and driving licenses from Pezeshk’s home.
Police also found computers and documents, including worldwide Western Union credit transfers, and a pile of passport style photos and a Home Office stamp.
Financial investigations showed that Pezeshk sent in excess of £80,000 to 23 different countries on trafficking routes.
He was assisted by his brother-in-law Mohammed Amiralli, 34, and 31-year-old Ghulam Kiatavosi who earlier admitted their roles.
Amiralli, 34, of Ilford, Essex, admitted conspiracy to facilitate a non EU national into the UK for gain and earlier received nine months’ jail suspended for two years, 12 month supervision order and 150 hours community service.
Kiatavosi, 30, from St John’s Wood, London, admitted a like charge and was jailed for 18 months.
Detective Inspector Mark Chapman, of Operation Maxim, said: ‘This was not simply a case of the more usual method of smuggling people in the backs of lorries or in the boots of cars.
‘These men adopted cyber methods to make use of internet ticketing systems via false credit cards, names and addresses and provided forged identity documents to circumvent the security measures in place that help secure our borders.’ Source: Daily Mail.
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