The ringleaders behind a major international people smuggling network have been jailed this week for combined 13 years and 4 months, The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has revealed.
Khalilullah Aminullah and Abdul Mahmood Abdul Sami (also known as Abdul Mahmood Noori) arranged the attempted illegal entry of at least 43 people, primarily Afghan nationals, to European countries including the UK.
The duo charged between £15,000 and £20,000 per person for the ‘get me into Europe’ service. In short £15,000 helped people gain entry into European Union countries illegally circumventing immigration controls at worldwide travel locations including Moscow, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo.
Following a two year investigation by the UKBA, SOCA and international partners the disruption of their criminal network was busted.
The culprits Aminullah and Sami both pleaded guilty to the charges against them Croydon Crown Court.
Paul Jenkins, regional head of investigations, SOCA said:
‘This complex investigation dismantled a crime group seeking to generate large profits from the organised abuse of immigration and asylum processes.
‘The successful collaboration of national and international law enforcement bodies demonstrates the emphatic cross-border response that anyone engaging in this type of organised crime can expect. Aminullah and Sami have lost their liberty for several years, and having put themselves on SOCA’s radar, they won’t be leaving it.’
Richard Goodman, director of overseas operations, UK Border Agency said:
‘Our network of officers abroad played a key role in bringing down this criminal network, and we are delighted these two men have now faced justice. Working with our law enforcement partners like SOCA and the police we are determined to tackle the organised criminals who try to make money from preying on the vulnerable and treating people as commodities.’
Based in West London, Aminullah and Sami travelled extensively throughout the Middle East and Europe to coordinate their criminal activity.
In a well coordinated operation, associates would travel with the illegal migrants, providing them with different false, stolen or forged identity documents at each stage of their journey to the west.
On the final leg of the long haul trip, the travel documents would either be destroyed or handed back to the handlers and the migrants would be left to claim asylum at the end destination. Source: UKBA.
In a recent report by the Mail, it was claimed that with illegal immigrant backlog of 500,000 cases, and as just 1 in 10 having been removed, border chiefs are preparing to ‘write off’ around 80,000 lost immigration and asylum cases.
Over 180,000 have already been given the right to stay in the country under the ‘legacy’ scheme – another term for an amnesty. And only 41,300 have been removed or have left voluntarily.
Nearly half a million files were found abandoned in boxes at the Home Office in 2006 in a major immigration scandal.
There is no accurate system for ‘counting-in and counting-out’ the millions of people who arrive in the UK on Tier 4 student visas, tourist visas or as dependants, which makes it almost impossible to know how many people have overstayed in the first place.
There are between 500,000 to 700,000 people living in the UK illegally, which the think tank ippr estimated would take 20 years at a cost of £5 billion to remove.
Cynthia Barker of Immigration Advisers Bison Management warns overstayers not to use unqualified illegal advisers who ‘promise the earth and deliver nothing’.
‘If you have overstayed you should seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser who is regulated by the OISC’.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: