A gang leader who boasted of smuggling dozens of women into the U.K. using large trucks and small boats has been jailed for 10 years.
In covertly obtained recordings by National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators, Nzar Jabar Mohamad, from Hull, was heard telling criminal associates in Europe that “I brought too many women, I swear to God I can say I brought more than a hundred over.”
But 33-year-old Mohamad, who also used the name Nazar Masefi, was arrested by NCA officers while in the process of arranging an attempt to smuggle up to 21 people across the English channel on a small boat in November 2019.
During the conversations, recorded at his home in Waterloo Street prior to his arrest, Mohamad also referred to a £6,500 dinghy he had bought which had gone missing. Migrants were to be charged up to £10,000 each to make the crossing to the U.K.
In irate exchanges with other crime group members based in France and Belgium, Mohamad demanded the return of the dinghy, motor, fuel and 21 lifejackets or his money back.
But the crossing attempt never happened as he was arrested at his home on November 15 and subsequently charged with conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration.
NCA Branch Commander Martin Clarke said Mohamad’s cover was blown while he was arranging a dangerous small boat crossing. “Our intervention helped protect the welfare of those he was seeking to exploit. Working alongside our partners we are determined to do everything possible to disrupt and dismantle the organized criminals behind this despicable trade.”
Dozens of images of small boat equipment, including outboard motors, were found on Mohamad’s phone when it was searched by NCA investigators.
Hull Crown Court heard that the crime group he was part of initially smuggled migrants from Belgium and the Netherlands across the channel in large trucks, but diversified into using inflatable dinghies.
Mohamad himself came to the U.K. illegally in April 2019, hiding behind the wind dam of a truck cab before claiming asylum. During this period, phone records taken from migrants found in lorries showed a handset which was later linked to Mohamad was being regularly used by people smugglers to arrange illegal crossings.
NCA officers showed that Mohamad was in contact with two men acting as agents in the Dunkirk migrant camp for individuals wanting to travel to the U.K.
In other parts of the covert recordings, Mohamad was heard talking about logistical and financial arrangements for transporting migrants on small boats.
He also mentioned sending profits home to his family and displayed an in-depth knowledge of people smuggling methods, including weather patterns, risks and the best pick up points to use.
Mohamad appeared at Hull Crown Court on April 21 where he admitted a charge of conspiring to facilitate illegal immigration. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison at the same court on October 8.
The investigation involved the support of the Belgian authorities, whose enquiries continue.