Collier Row man among gang of people smugglers jailed for 102 years

Major Bajwa

Major Bajwa - Credit: Archant

A gang of people smugglers who were caught after falling out with each other have been jailed for 102 years.

Among them was Major Bajwa, of Collier Row Road, who helped arrange for seven associates to smuggle Indian nationals into the country.

The men each paid £10,000 to agents in India, with another £10,000 to be paid upon the victims’ arrival. It was agreed that once in the country they would be handed over to Bajwa and his partner in crime Kuldeep Singh.

But the associates instead held them captive in an Edmonton flat and demanded more money from the pair.

Police were called November 5 last year by a man claiming people were being held hostage at the flat and would not be released unless a ransom of £10,000 was paid for each victim.

The Met’s Trafficking and Kidnap Unit (TKU) launched an operation to rescue the victims and uncovered that the gang had fallen out with each other.

Bajwa, 44, coerced a relative into calling police attempting to have his co-conspirators arrested but it was quickly established Bajwa was behind the call and he was arrested.

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The TKU later arrested the other members of the gang, seizing more than £80,000 in cash.

The victims were referred to the Home Office.

Det Con Kieran Backhouse, of the TKU, said: “I am very pleased with the sentencing which sends out a strong message that people smugglers face the full might of the law and can expect substantial jail terms.”

The total sentence for the gang is 102 years.

Seven of the gang were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court for conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law, possession of criminal property and five counts of false imprisonment.

Burhan Abdul Sheikhany, 29, of High Street, Feltham was sentenced to 12 years in Jail on September 4.

Soran Rasul, of Plowman Close, Edmonton was also handed a 12-years sentence on September 4, as were Bijar Sheikha, 27 of Plowman Close, Edmonton and Liaqat Jabbarkhel, 23, of no fixed address.

Fahmi Hakim, 32, of East Road, West Drayton was given an 11-year sentence.

Barzan Kamal, 28, of North Luton Place, Adamsdown, Cardiff was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment in his absence on the same day. A warrant for his arrest was issued after he absconded while the jury considered their verdict against him.

Karzan Rasoul, 24, of Dryden Close, Maldon, Essex, was jailed for 12 years on September 8 at the same court.

All pleaded guilty apart from Hakim who was found guilty following a trial.

Singh, 37, of Wednesbury, West Midlands, was jailed for 10 years on September 4 after being found guilty of conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law.

Bajwa was given a nine-year sentence yesterday after pleading guilty to the same offence.

Det Con Blackhouse urged anyone with information about the whereabouts of Kamal to call 020 7230 8952 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.