lorry driver who tried to smuggle migrants out of the UK – including a suspected child sex offender – has been jailed for six years.
Sebastian Gabriel Podar, 48, was arrested as half of a covert operation on the port of Dover in December 2020.
National Crime Agency officers had been investigating an organised crime group behind the trafficking of a whole lot of migrants each into and out of Britain within the again of lorries.
Nine migrants have been found within the rear of Romanian nationwide Podar’s HGV, which was booked to go onto a ferry to France.
Among the 9 was a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man beneath investigation for child sexual offences by Nottinghamshire Police. He was later charged with 20 offences.
People smuggler Sebastian Gabriel Podar jailed for six years / National Crime Agency
The remaining eight migrants, of Indian, Algerian and Bangladeshi nationality, have been handed over to the immigration authorities.
Podar, from Tuzrii in Romania, had beforehand been stopped on October 16 in the identical lorry by police in Edmonton, north London. On that event six migrants have been discovered inside.
NCA officers charged Podar with two counts of trying to facilitate a breach of immigration legislation.
He initially denied the fees, however mid-way by means of a trial at Canterbury Crown Court he modified his plea to responsible. He was sentenced to six years in jail.
NCA Branch Operations Manager Chris Hill, who ran Operation Symbolry, mentioned: “Criminal gangs concerned in individuals smuggling want complicit lorry drivers like Podar. Their enterprise mannequin is dependent upon it.
“For his half, Podar noticed this as a possibility to generate profits, however as a substitute he now faces a protracted jail sentence distant from house.
Among the 9 migrants was a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man beneath investigation for child sexual offences by Nottinghamshire Police / National Crime Agency
“I hope this sends out a message to others who would think about doing the identical. It merely isn’t well worth the danger.
“People smugglers put lives in danger and we’re decided to do all we are able to to disrupt and dismantle the felony networks concerned.”
The conviction and sentencing of Podar got here the identical day as greater than 130 National Crime Agency officers carried out a collection of raids throughout east London concentrating on the alleged organisers of a individuals smuggling community.
The raids noticed two males charged with conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration.
Mohammed Mokter Hossain, 52, and Noor Ullah, 28, appeared earlier than Barkingside Magistrates on May 21 the place they have been remanded in custody till the following look at Snaresbrook Crown Court in June.
Six different males arrested have been all launched beneath investigation.