Migrant-smuggler jailed for 10 years for plot to carry people on dinghy in English Channel

‘There are fewer crimes more serious than this,’ judge tells 34-year-old

Sophie Corcoran
Friday 08 October 2021 21:10
<p>Nzar Jabar Mohamad was jailed for 10 years </p>

Nzar Jabar Mohamad was jailed for 10 years

A man who plotted to smuggle migrants across the English Channel in a dinghy has been jailed for 10 years.

Nzar Jabar Mohamad, 34, from Kurdistan, arrived in Dover in April 2019 after paying £2,000 to people-smugglers to be brought into the country while hiding in a windbreak on top of a lorry.

Hull Crown Court heard Mohamad immediately claimed asylum and lived in London and Newcastle before settling in Hull, where he continued the work he had been doing in France, helping to smuggle migrants.

Paul Mitchell, prosecuting, told the court listening devices on Mohamad’s phone heard him boasting about the money he had made smuggling migrants across Europe, adding “there is nothing wrong with the sea”.

The prosecutor said: “There was a conversation with his brother-in-law about a dinghy and he said he ‘prays it gets through’. He spoke about people getting caught the day before but that was not him because a vehicle had broken down. He said because of that he had narrowly avoided the police.

“He said: ‘Like God protected us. Everything has been going well so far’.”

Mr Mitchell said Mohamad had plans to smuggle his own sister from Iraq, and in October 2019 was heard saying that October, November and December were the “best months” to smuggle people.

He added that Mohamad spoke on the phone with others about arranging false passports and hiring drivers to transport migrants, telling associates they would not get paid if they did not make it to Dover.

Mr Mitchell said: “On 11 November 2019, he had conversations about a plan to bring them [a group of migrants] in a small boat, like a dinghy. He received a call later that day that someone had taken the 6m boat and lifeboats, and he became angry and made threatening calls to an associate about the boat.

“He said he had paid £6,500 for it and expected the money back or the equipment.”

Mohamad was arrested eight days later. He pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court in April this year to conspiracy to help asylum-seekers enter the UK.

Thirty-seven screenshots of weather reports for the English Channel and 87 photographs of maps and locations across northern Europe were found on his phone.

Mohamad wanted to transport people in a 6m dinghy

Judge John Thackray said Mohamad’s crimes were a “callous disregard of immigration law in the UK”.

The judge said: “You had no regard for the welfare of others. I repeat your comments that ‘There is nothing wrong with the sea.’

“You were wrong about that because there most certainly is when individuals are on a crowded dinghy in a busy shipping channel with no navigation equipment. History has shown that fatalities are almost inevitable. Your operations would have continued until detection.

“In my judgment, there are fewer crimes more serious than this.”

Shufqat Khan, mitigating, told the court Mohamad was a “middle man” in the smuggling operation and is now a “changed man” since he was arrested two years ago.

Mr Khan said: “He worked more as a middle man but sometimes he went further than that. He was doing well for himself. It is best described as a dream or improving his situation and life and being able to make people back home proud of him.”

He added that Mohamad has suffered with health issues and had had his intestines removed during his time in custody on remand.

PA

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