Wolverhampton money launderer jailed for involvement in people smuggling network
A MONEY launderer who acted as a banker for a convicted people smuggler has been locked up.
Egyptian national Ahmed Saleh Elsayed Mustafa was jailed for three-and-a-half years after working for his criminal boss.
The 39-year-old, from Wolverhampton, was caught by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers as part of a joint operation with Danish police last January.
Neil Gardner, NCA senior investigating officer, said: “Mustafa was a key enabler for a criminal enterprise that risked human lives for financial gain.
“His actions allowed the network to access the cash needed to pay for illegal identity documents, travel and accommodation and ultimately fund further criminal activity.
“By collaborating with our international partners the NCA has assisted in dismantling a people smuggling network and protected the security of the UK border.”
Convicted people smuggler Mohamed Elsaid Khalil Ali was was arrested in Denmark's Esbjerg shortly before Mustafa's arrest.
He smuggled 51 migrants, hidden within freight lorries, from Denmark to the UK via the port of Immingham, Lincolnshire, between May 2016 and last January.
Mustafa received £10,200 from members of the people smuggling network, which he had launched on Ali's instructions, in the six months leading to his arrest.
Records of Mustafa's three phones revealed he received numerous calls from Ali, with the pair recorded discussing the people smuggling operation.
During one conversation in November 2016, investigators linked Mustafa’s money transfer to a migrant’s entry into the UK.
The migrant was detained two days later after attempting to enter the port of Immingham illegally.
Mustafa, of Northam Walk, admitted money laundering and helping an asylum seeker to enter the United Kingdom at Birmingham Crown Court last Monday.