Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

High-ranking Leytonstone gangster jailed for people smuggling

His group helped people wanted for crimes like murder flee the UK

Hero for High-ranking Leytonstone gangster jailed for people smuggling
Noor Ullah, a 29-year-old from Leytonstone
25 March 2022

A high-ranking Leytonstone member of a gang thought to have smuggled hundreds of people into and out of the UK has been jailed for more than two years.A high-ranking Leytonstone member of a gang thought to have smuggled hundreds of people into and out of the UK has been jailed for more than two years.

Noor Ullah, a 29-year-old from Church Road, was arrested in May last year during a series of raids in East London aimed at dismantling the well-established criminal network.Noor Ullah, a 29-year-old from Church Road, was arrested in May last year during a series of raids in East London aimed at dismantling the well-established criminal network.

Ullah's crime group, of which he was a key member, used lorries to move people across the Channel from France to Kent or out of the UK in the other direction.Ullah's crime group, of which he was a key member, used lorries to move people across the Channel from France to Kent or out of the UK in the other direction.

Among those attempting to leave the UK using their services included a man wanted for child abuse offences and a man wanted for murder.Among those attempting to leave the UK using their services included a man wanted for child abuse offences and a man wanted for murder.

Ullah initially denied the charges but pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial and was sentenced to two years and five months in jail at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday.Ullah initially denied the charges but pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial and was sentenced to two years and five months in jail at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday.

NCA senior investigating officer Chris Hill said: “People smugglers like Ullah don’t care about safety or border security – that was evident from the fact that the crime group he was part of was happy to help individuals wanted for serious criminal offences to try and escape the UK.NCA senior investigating officer Chris Hill said: “People smugglers like Ullah don’t care about safety or border security – that was evident from the fact that the crime group he was part of was happy to help individuals wanted for serious criminal offences to try and escape the UK.

“The group used both complicit drivers and some who had their trucks broken into and therefore had no idea they were carrying migrants. They looked to maximise their profits by ensuring the lorries carried people both into and out of the UK.“The group used both complicit drivers and some who had their trucks broken into and therefore had no idea they were carrying migrants. They looked to maximise their profits by ensuring the lorries carried people both into and out of the UK.

“We are determined to do all we can to target, disrupt and dismantle the criminal gangs involved in organised immigration crime, and this investigation is one example of many which shows us doing that.”“We are determined to do all we can to target, disrupt and dismantle the criminal gangs involved in organised immigration crime, and this investigation is one example of many which shows us doing that.”

The conviction follows a lengthy investigation into people smuggling, codenamed Operation Symbolry.The conviction follows a lengthy investigation into people smuggling, codenamed Operation Symbolry.

Anyone with information about this type of illegal activity, particularly lorry drivers, should call their local police on 101 or contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.Anyone with information about this type of illegal activity, particularly lorry drivers, should call their local police on 101 or contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.