People smuggling gang members jailed
Six members of a "professionally organised criminal organisation" who profited from human trafficking have been jailed.
They were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court after UK Border Force officials in France came across two separate instances of Albanian people, one a child, being found in car boots.
The car drivers, passengers and organisers were from Birmingham.
The Albanians found in the cars were handed to the French authorities.
The first car was stopped at the UK Control Zone in Coquelles, France, on 12 March 2015. A man, woman and a child were in the boot.
The driver was Lee Anderson, 46, and passenger was Jason Cowley, 44. They were both arrested at the scene.
On 2 August, 2015, a car driven by Gillian Barker, 47, was stopped at the same controls. Two men were found in the boot and Barker was arrested.
Investigations linked both smuggling attempts to Ilir Hani, 44, Eduart Karaj, 40 and Vullnet Karaj, 41.
The woman and child who were in the boot were said to be the cousin and second cousin of Eduart Karaj.
Sentencing the gang, Judge Simon James said it was clear the operation would have continued if it had not been detected.
"This was not an operation motivated by altruism or compassion," he said.
- Eduart Karaj, of Icknield Port Road, pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate the commission of a breach of the UK immigration law by a non-EU person. He was described by the judge as an architect and guiding force of the operation and was given five years.
- Vullnet Karaj, of Great Colmore Street, was convicted of the same offence after a five-day trial. He was also described as an architect and guiding force of the operation, and was given five and a half years.
- Ilir Hani, of Mailins, Road, was convicted of the same offence after a five-day trial. He was a described as a trusted lieutenant and was jailed for four years.
- Jason Cowley, of Borrowdale Road, pleaded guilty to the same charge and was jailed for 30 months.
- Lee Anderson, of Titiana Close, pleaded guilty to the same charge and was jailed for 30 months.
- Gillian Barker, of Lismore Drive pleaded guilty to the same charge and was jailed for 20 months.