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People smuggling lorry driver jailed for three years

A lorry driver who was caught trying to smuggle a wanted criminal out of the UK has been jailed for three years.

National Crime Agency officers arrested 28-year-old Macedonian national Muhamed Alievski in Ashford, Kent, as part of an intelligence-led operation on 5 August this year.

In the back of his lorry they found a 22-year-old Albanian man who was wanted for breaching a court order after being convicted of drug offences.

Both men were taken into custody.

Alievski later admitted a charge of participating in the activities of a people smuggling organised crime group, and on Friday 10 November a judge at Canterbury Crown Court sentenced him to three years in prison.

NCA senior investigating officer Andrew MacGill said:

“This man was willing to smuggle a wanted criminal out of the country for money.

“Corrupt lorry drivers like him provide a crucial service for the organised criminal groups involved in people smuggling, and the NCA is determined to disrupt and dismantle these networks.”

Organised criminals are known to target those in the haulage industry to help them with their illicit activities, often offering payment in return.

The NCA is appealing to anyone in the sector who is approached or has information to call police on 101 or contacting the charity Crimestoppers anonymously.

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