Wolverhampton man acted as banker for people smuggling network

10 August 2018

Egyptian national, Ahmed Saleh Elsayed Mustafa, 39, was arrested by National Crime Agency officers in January 2017 as part of a joint operation with the Danish police.

His criminal boss and now convicted people smuggler, Mohamed Elsaid Khalil Ali, was arrested in Esbjerg, Denmark shortly before Mustafa's arrest. Ali facilitated the travel of 51 migrants who entered the UK from Denmark via the port of Immingham hidden within freight lorries between May 2016 and January 2017.

In the six months leading up to his arrest, Mustafa received £10,200 from members of the people smuggling network which he was instructed to launder for Ali.

Analysis of Mustafa’s phone records showed that all three of his phones had received numerous calls from Ali in that time. In recordings obtained by the Danish police, the pair discussed the people smuggling operation.

From one of the conversations dated 12 November 2016, investigators linked Mustafa’s movement of money to the facilitation of a particular migrant’s entry into the UK.

The migrant was detained two days later after attempting to enter the port of Immingham illegally.

On 6 August 2018 at Birmingham Crown Court, Mustafa pleaded guilty to money laundering and helping an asylum seeker to enter the United Kingdom. He was sentenced today to three years and six months in prison.

Senior Investigating Officer, Neil Gardner, said: “Mustafa was a key enabler for a criminal enterprise that risked human lives for financial gain.

“His actions allowed the network to access the cash needed to pay for illegal identity documents, travel and accommodation and ultimately fund further criminal activity.

“By collaborating with our international partners the NCA has assisted in dismantling a people smuggling network and protected the security of the UK border.”

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