...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Following a two-year investigation by the Home Office’s Criminal and Financial Investigation unit, two men involved in smuggling Albanian migrants into the UK have been sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison.
Flavian Suka, aged 27, an Albanian national living in London, and Stephen Orgar, aged 45, a British national from Basildon in Essex, were both sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court for facilitating illegal entry into the UK.
Orgar was jailed for three years and six months, while Suka was sentenced to seven years and six months for immigration and drug offences.
Discovery and Investigation
In September 2019, Stephen Orgar, who was driving a hired car from France to the UK, was stopped at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France.
During the search by Border Force officers, two Albanian male migrants were found in the boot of his hire car.
Both men were refused entry to the UK, and Orgar was arrested.
The subsequent investigation found that Orgar was helped by a ‘facilitator’ who was later identified as Flavian Suka, who was living near to where the car was hired.
Immigration officers carried out a search warrant at Suka’s address where they found a large quantity of class A drugs – including cocaine – estimated to have a street value of around £88,000. More than £20,000 in cash was also found in the property.
Sentencing and Government Response
Orgar was found guilty following a trial for facilitating illegal entry into the UK, and Suka pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Suka also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick stated that the “brazen attempt to cram illegal migrants into an incredibly tight space and smuggle them over our border is unacceptable, and we will not stand for it.”
The sentences handed down to Suka and Orgar show that the UK government is committed to bringing these gangs to justice and will not tolerate the smuggling of vulnerable people into the country.
The government also takes a zero-tolerance approach to anyone caught dealing drugs in the UK.
Deputy Director for Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigations, Ben Thomas, expressed his hope that “today’s sentences send a message that we are committed to tackling this issue, and those who put profit above people’s lives will not go unpunished.”
Thomas further stated that his team works tirelessly to bring to justice anyone attempting to smuggle people unlawfully into the country and will continue to do so.
The UK government’s commitment to preventing the illegal smuggling of people and drugs into the country is commendable, and the sentences handed down to Suka and Orgar demonstrate the severity of their crimes.
The use of a hired car to smuggle vulnerable people across the border is a heinous crime that puts lives at risk.
The discovery of the large quantity of drugs at Suka’s residence further highlights the danger and criminality of their actions.
The zero-tolerance approach to drug dealing and illegal immigration sends a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated in the UK.
It is hoped that these sentences will serve as a warning to others who may consider engaging in similar criminal activities.