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Cops bust immigrant smuggling gang with French connection

PUBLISHED: 22:06 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:53 05 October 2010

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POLICE have smashed one of Europe's biggest immigrant-smuggling networks with the jailing of six men in London who have been sentenced to a total of 38 years. Five admitted their part in the largest human smuggling ring to operate in London in recent years with French, Belgian, Turkish and Chinese connections. The sixth was found guilty

TOP: Kazim Karakus, 46 (left), Inan Taskin 31, Zeynel Yazici, 49; ABOVE: Yakup Aslan, 37, Chen Yu, 22, John Ashcroft, 60

Mike Brooke

POLICE have smashed one of Europe’s biggest immigrant-smuggling networks with the jailing of six men in London who have been sentenced to a total of 38 years.

Five admitted their part in the largest human smuggling ring to operate in London in recent years with French, Belgian, Turkish and Chinese connections.

The sixth, a 60-year-old, was found guilty on Friday and sentenced to six years.

Detectives from Scotland Yard’s SIS Special Intelligence Section carried out raids at 15 addresses across London and Birmingham and simultaneously dismantled and disrupted two human smuggling networks.

Operation Green Sea’ began in 2006 tackling a gang of Turkish nationals involved in large-scale human smuggling.

It finally ended at the beginning of this year with police swoops at Leytonstone, Tottenham, Holloway, Palmers Green, Enfield and Peckham in London and at Kidderminster in the Midlands.

The network was closely linking to a Chinese mob involved in human smuggling.

Both networks had syndicate associates in France and Belgium who were arrested by police in Paris, Dunkirk, Brussels and Ghent.

LONG TRAIL

The networks operated together to smuggle Chinese nationals into the UK who paid up to £21,000 each.

The immigrants were smuggled in cramped and dangerous conditions in lorries, boats and trains from China, across Asia and Europe to Britain in a journey often taking 18 months—with London as their destination.

They would disappear into established communities once they were smuggled in and avoid detection by the authorities.

Police found 23 Chinese illegal immigrants living at just one London address.

The gang were charged on January 2 with conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Kazim Karakus, a 46-year-old arrested at his home at Sansom Road in Leytonstone, East London, got six years after pleading guilty at Southwark Crown Court.

Also pleading guilty were Inan Taskin, 31, from Tottemham, who got 10 years, Zeynel Yazici, 49, from Palmers Green, four years, Yakup Aslan, 37, a Turkish national, two years, and Chen Yu, 22, from Peckham, 10 years, while 60-year-old John Ashcroft, a Brit living in Belgium, was found guilty and received six years.

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