A DERBY man has been jailed for coordinating a people-smuggling gang who couriered genuine British passports abroad to be used in illegal attempts to reach the UK.
Mohamed Jamal Kawsara, 39, was jailed for three years at Derby Crown Court after pleading guilty to assisting in illegal immigration at an earlier hearing.
His accomplices, Glen Szabo, 36, Ashley Henson, 29, Craig Edward Smedley 49, Pavandeep Singh, 41, were also sentenced.
The scam was exposed by Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigations (CFI) department.
The investigation revealed that Kawsara, along with other gang members, flew to Greece as couriers, handing over genuine British passports to Syrian nationals who would then attempt to board flights to the UK as imposters.
If successful, the passport would either be destroyed or handed back to the courier on the aircraft.
After landing at a UK airport, the Syrian nationals would present themselves to Border Force and claim asylum.
Kawsara was arrested in 2015 at Birmingham Airport, having arrived from Kos on the same flight as a Syrian woman.
Investigators identified four other people smuggling attempts linked to Kawsara and the gang.
Phone records showed Kawsara was in contact with all the couriers to make arrangements for the smuggling of people.
Money transfers were identified between Kawsara and several of his ‘customers’, who were thought to be charged about £7,000 for his assistance.
Kawsara of Caernarvon Close, Spondon, Derby, admitted to five counts of assisting illegal immigration and was jailed for three years.
Ashley Henson of Ash Street, Derby, admitted to one count of assisting illegal immigration and was jailed for 20 months, suspended for 18 months, and given a community order for 100 hours of unpaid work.
Pavandeep Singh Dosanjh of Donington Drive, Derby, admitted to one count of assisting illegal immigration and was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months, and given a community order for 100 hours of unpaid work.
Craig Smedley of High Street, Normanton, admitted to one count of assisting illegal immigration and was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months, and given a community order for 100 hours of unpaid work.
Glenn Szabo of Millersdale Avenue, Mansfield, admitted to two counts of assisting illegal immigration and handed a 15 months jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Kawsara was also sentenced in relation to a separate case led by Derbyshire Police.
Kawsara had been found guilty of three counts for inciting a child to perform sexual activity and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, to run consecutively with the three-year sentence for the immigration offences.
A sexual harm prevention order was also imposed that will last for seven years.