Three Iraqi-Kurdish people-smugglers have been sentenced by a French court to between two and a half and five years for their roles in a large network operating in the English Channel.
The three men, 39-year-old Saywan Yasin, also known as ‘Tonton Star’, 35-year-old Rizgar Hamed Amin, and 27-year-old Goran Tofiq, were handed sentences at a court in Dunkirk last Friday after being convicted of forming an organised gang and aiding illegal entries of foreigners.
Amin and Yasin were given five and three years in prison, respectively, while Tofiq was sentenced to 30 months, with the first two men also being handed a ban from French territory following the completion of their sentences, InfoMigrants reports.
The three men are believed to have been involved in at least 20 boat crossings of the English Channel from May of last year until late January 2022.
These journeys resulted in at least three shipwrecks, according to public prosecutor Pauline Abry.
Calais People Smugglers Net £58 Million From Trafficking Channel Migrants This Yearhttps://t.co/pAqnSOAuSJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 27, 2021
Rizgar Hamed Amin is believed to have been the head of the smuggling network, which provided boats to migrants wanting to cross the English Channel to reach the British coast and charged between €1,500 (£1,259/$1,642) and €2,000 (£1,679/$2,190) per person.
Amin had been under investigation by police for eight months after a security guard reported a car taking migrants and gasoline into a local Dunkirk car park. The car was found to be rented in Amin’s name and police ultimately gathered a great deal of information on his activities, which involved taking people from migrant camps to northerly French beaches.
After his arrest, Amin admitted he had been involved in at least 14 trips across the Channel, but claimed to have played only a minor role.
Goran Tofiq, meanwhile, claimed that he had been helping out a friend but did not take any cash personally — but he had been convicted of similar offences twice prior.
Last year saw a surge of illegal migrant arrivals across the channel, with over 28,000 illegals landing in the United Kingdom from January of 2021 until late December — a yearly record.
UK Govt Warned 65,000 Illegal Boat Migrants May Land This Year https://t.co/4bq14ebWpn
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 19, 2022
In January of 2022, the number of migrants compared to the same month in 2021 increased sixfold, with 1,341 illegals crossing the Channel.
While it has been projected that the number of illegal arrivals could be as high as 65,000 this year, some have warned that an increasingly embarrassed British government may stop releasing daily data on illegal arrivals, leaving the public largely in the dark about possible increases for months at a time.