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Man linked to migrant lorry deaths gang is jailed

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An Albanian man who became embroiled with a people smuggling ring linked to the deaths of 39 migrants has been jailed for 10 months

An Albanian man who became embroiled with a people smuggling ring linked to the deaths of 39 migrants has been jailed for 10 months

An Albanian man who became embroiled with a people smuggling ring linked to the deaths of 39 migrants has been jailed for 10 months

An Albanian man who became embroiled with a people smuggling ring linked to the deaths of 39 migrants has been jailed for 10 months.

Gazmir Nuzi (42), of Tottenham, picked up his nephew and another man after they were smuggled to Britain in the back of a lorry on October 11, 2019.

Days later 39 Vietnamese people died as they followed the same route to Purfleet from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Nuzi, a father-of-three, had admitted his limited role in smuggling but denied being a member of the organised crime group behind multiple trips from the continent dating back to May 2018.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Sweeney sentenced Nuzi to 10 months in jail.

The defendant has already spent months in custody, meaning the sentence will lead to his imminent release.

The judge said: "You were aware your nephew wanted to come to this country and you had sought to dissuade him from coming, but on October 10, 2019 your nephew had informed you while en route to the UK that he would be arriving in Essex the following day.

"You went to pick him up because you did not want to leave him alone in a foreign country or with the people smugglers and your nephew asked you to give the other man a lift, which you did, eventually dropping him at his request at Wood Green in London and thereafter allowing your nephew to live at your address."

The judge added: "In my judgment, given the current prevalence of such offences, deterrence is called for."

Seven more defendants are due to be sentenced for their role in the long-running smuggling enterprise on Friday.

Four of the men are facing potential life sentences for the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants who suffocated as they were shipped in a trailer to Purfleet in Essex on October 22, 2019.

They include Maurice Robinson, of Craigavon, and Ronan Hughes, of Armagh, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughters and a plot to people smuggle dating back to May 2018. Robinson, who took cash to Northern Ireland for Hughes, has also admitted money laundering.

Eamonn Harrison (24), from Co Down, had transported the migrants to Zeebrugge on the fateful journey and was found guilty of smuggling and the manslaughters.

Gheorghe Nica (43), from Basildon in Essex, was a ringleader responsible for organising onward transport after the migrants arrived in Hughes' lorries.

Belfast Telegraph


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