Man jailed for people smuggling

Man jailed for people smuggling

A third person has been jailed for conspiring to smuggle eight Albanian migrants into the UK in a small boat which got stranded near Teignmouth, South Devon, in December 2020.

Indrit Barhani, 33, of no fixed address, was sentenced to four years and two months at Exeter Crown Court yesterday (9 June) after pleading guilty to conspiracy to breach the Immigration Act. 

Two others, the boat’s skipper and crewmate, were sentenced for the same offence last July.

Detective Inspector Adrian Hawkins from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) said: “Barhani was one of the organisers of the failed attempt, which saw seven men and one woman sail for more than 24 hours in treacherous conditions without any safety equipment on board, and no food or water. 

“The migrants were nothing more than a money making commodity to Barhani and the group, who showed no regard whatsoever for the safety of the people they tried to smuggle that day.

“This final guilty plea brings to a close a successful investigation into organised immigration crime carried out by our team at SW ROCU, closely supported by the CPS, Devon and Cornwall Police, and the NCA.  Border Force played a critical role at the time in ensuring the lives of those on board were protected and everyone was safely detained.”

The incident happened in December 2020.  The seven men and one woman smuggled to the UK via France told officers how the original £2,000 fee increased to £5,000 then £20,000 once on board.