A Car wash boss who planned to smuggle up to 200 illegal immigrants into the UK and drug the kids to keep them quiet has been jailed for his trafficking plot. Luan Braha from North Macedonia used his Staffordshire car wash business ‘The Boss’ to devise a plan on trafficking up to 200 Albanian illegal immigrants from Belgium into the UK.

The 38-year-old, North Macedonian, planned to bring up to 200 illegal immigrants into the country by hiding them in the back of lorries and taking them across the English Channel. The illegal immigrants were to be charged more than £5,000 for the trip under Braha’s plans.

Braha even discussed with fellow criminals how illegal immigrants, including children, could be drugged to make sure they kept quiet during the trip from Ghent, Belgium. But his plans were exposed when investigators from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) realised he was the mastermind behind the plot to traffic up to 200 illegal immigrants.

He was arrested last July at his car wash in Mill Street, Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Simultaneous warrants were executed in Belgium as the unit worked in partnership with the East Flanders Human Trafficking Team.

Braha told interviewing officers he never intended to go ahead with his trafficking plot but a jury at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court rejected his excuses. Jurors convicted him of conspiring to illegally breach immigration legislation by preparing to traffic Albanian illegal immigrants into the UK on June 8.

He was jailed for eight years in court on July 28th.

Detective Inspector Julie Woods, from the West Midlands ROCU, said:

“The jury dismissed his mitigation and the judge agreed, stating we’d brought strong and compelling evidence against Braha… It was clear Braha was the lead conspirator and was quite openly making arrangements to smuggle people in to the UK for payment with no regard for their safety.”

Braha used the car wash to make acquaintances and generate support for his plan to traffic illegal immigrants. The ROCU intercepted what Bahra believed were secure chat groups. In the chat groups, discussions were made about illegal immigrants, payments and their travel plans.

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