A man accused of booking flights for an international crime gang trafficking Syrian migrants into Britain through Dublin and Belfast is to be released from custody, a High Court judge has ruled.
Abdullah Al Younes, 29, was granted bail despite prosecution claims that he could use his contacts around the world to flee.
Mr Justice Rooney said: “I know I’m taking a chance - I hope I’m not let down.”
Al Younes, of Agincourt Avenue in Belfast, was among three men arrested in March as part of a major Home Office investigation.
He faces a charge of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration of non-UK nationals.
Previous courts heard that hundreds of people are believed to have paid to be illicitly moved across Europe into the UK.
Smugglers provided identity documents, travel, hotel accommodation and even Covid certification paperwork, it was claimed.
Al Younes was allegedly involved in a limited number of incidents on the logistical side of the operation by overseeing travel arrangements and sending money back to his family in Turkey.
Opposing his bid to be released, a Crown lawyer claimed he also has links to the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Austria and Damascus.
“He has a number of contacts across the world,” she said.
“There is a concern that he has both the method and means to flee the jurisdiction, and has every motivation to do so.”
Al Younes, who is seeking permission to remain in the UK, denies any involvement in the trafficking racket.
Mr Justice Rooney heard he had been a mathematics student forced to flee Syria in 2012 after assisting international journalists covering its civil war.
With the defence contending that his alleged involvement in the smuggling operation was minimal, bail was granted under strict conditions.