lorry driver who tried to smuggle migrants out of the UK, together with an alleged child sex offender, has been jailed for six years.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) stated Sebastian Gabriel Podar, 48, was arrested on the port of Dover on December 2 final 12 months as half of its long-running Operation Symbolry.
His automobile was being monitored by officers’ investigating an organised crime group alleged to be behind the smuggling of tons of of migrants in and out of the UK in lorries.
Nine migrants have been discovered within the again of his HGV which had been booked to journey on a ferry to France.
Among the group of 9 was a 39-year-old Bangladeshi man beneath investigation for child sexual offences by police in Nottinghamshire, the NCA stated.
The man was later charged with 20 offences.
Sebastian Gabriel Podar (NCA/PA) / PA Media
The different eight migrants, of Indian, Algerian and Bangladeshi nationality, have been handed to immigration authorities.
The NCA stated Podar, from Tuzrii in Romania, was beforehand stopped on October 16 in the identical lorry by police within the Edmonton space of north London when six migrants have been discovered contained in the automobile.
Podar was charged with two counts of “trying to facilitate a breach of immigration legislation”, the NCA stated.
The company stated he had initially denied the fees, however halfway by a trial at Canterbury Crown Court he modified his plea to responsible.
He was sentenced to six years in jail on Wednesday, the NCA added.
Sebastian Gabriel Podar’s lorry (NCA/PA) / PA Media
NCA department operations supervisor Chris Hill stated: “Criminal gangs concerned in individuals smuggling want complicit lorry drivers like Podar.
“Their enterprise mannequin is determined by it.
“For his half Podar noticed this as a chance to become profitable, however as a substitute he now faces an extended jail sentence distant from residence.
“I hope this sends out a message to others who would take into account doing the identical.
“It merely isn’t definitely worth the danger.
“People smugglers put lives in danger and we’re decided to do all we will to disrupt and dismantle the legal networks concerned.”
Podar’s sentencing got here on the identical day that greater than 130 NCA officers carried out a collection of raids throughout east London focusing on the alleged organisers of a individuals smuggling community.
The raids resulted in two males being charged with “conspiring to facilitate unlawful immigration”, the NCA stated.
Mohammed Mokter Hossain, 52, and Noor Ullah, 28, appeared earlier than Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday the place they have been remanded in custody till an look at Snaresbrook Crown Court on June 17.
Six different males arrested have been all launched beneath investigation.