An investigation by Sussex Police, with support from the SEROCU TOEX team, has resulted in a man being jailed for human trafficking offences, due to his involvement in facilitating the illegal entry of 47 people into the UK.
Sussex Police were called to reports of harassment at a hotel housing asylum seekers in Crawley on 26 June 2023. It was later established through the police investigation that the victim had been smuggled into the UK.
The victim – a 22-year-old woman – was smuggled in a small boat from France, which was captained and organised by a man called Kiki Gabar, also known as Salam Jabar.
The TOEX Response
An investigation was launched by Sussex Police and the TOEX team were asked to develop a package to fill intelligence gaps, in order to identify whether there was an organised crime group assisting with money and/or the movement of people around and into the UK, as well as identify and safeguard any further victims.
The team were provided with the phone download of the suspect and utilised the TOEX Translation tool to try and ascertain if any of the messages or locations indicated organised exploitation and connected him to the victims.
Two analytical telephone reports were developed to assist the investigation, which evidenced payment of travel into the UK via small boats as well as a UK mobile number linked to an online platform, which publicly advertised methods of travel into the UK by lorry, small boat etc. In addition, there was also evidence of money laundering connected to associates of the suspect.
As a result, and following further enquiries with the Home Office, it was confirmed Gabar was involved in bringing the woman, and a total of 47 people, into the UK.
Gabar pleaded guilty to entering the UK illegally and was found guilty of facilitating the pre-travel arrangements for human trafficking in France, facilitating illegal entry of 47 people into the UK and common assault.
He was sentenced to four years and one-month imprisonment.
The victim, as well as the other 46 people who were smuggled into the country, were supported, and safeguarded by specialist officers and agencies.
The team continue to work with partners such as the National Crime Agency in relation to the online platform that was identified to assist with potential further modern slavery and human trafficking investigations.