15 Aug 2018
An Egyptian national who handled the finances of a people smuggling gang has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court.
Ahmed Saleh Elsayed Mustafa was arrested by the National Crime Agency in January 2017 as part of a joint operation with the Danish police.
His crime boss facilitated the travel of 51 migrants who entered the United Kingdom from Denmark via the port of Immingham hidden within freight lorries between May 2016 and January 2017, the NCA said.
In the six months leading up to his arrest, Mustafa received £10,200 from members of the people smuggling network which he was instructed to launder for the crime boss.
“Analysis of Mustafa’s phone records showed that all three of his phones had received numerous calls from [‘the boss’] in that time. In recordings obtained by the Danish police, the pair discussed the people smuggling operation,” the NCA explained.
From one of the conversations dated 12 November 2016, investigators linked Mustafa’s movement of money to the facilitation of a particular migrant’s entry into the UK.
The migrant was detained two days later after attempting to enter the port of Immingham illegally.
At Birmingham Crown Court, Mustafa pleaded guilty to money laundering and helping an asylum seeker to enter the United Kingdom.
Senior Investigating Officer, Neil Gardner, said: “Mustafa was a key enabler for a criminal enterprise that risked human lives for financial gain.
“His actions allowed the network to access the cash needed to pay for illegal identity documents, travel and accommodation and ultimately fund further criminal activity.”
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