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Day: <span>April 13, 2024</span>

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Albanian Organized Crime Group Busted for Smuggling Migrants into Essex by Plane

In a landmark case, Myrteza Hilaj, 50, and Kreshnik Kadena, 37, both from Leyton, East London, were found guilty of orchestrating a sophisticated people smuggling operation. Utilizing light aircraft, they transported economic migrants from northern France to Essex, providing them with counterfeit documents for hefty fees. Operation Micropus Unravels a Criminal Network The National Crime Agency’s (NCA) eight-year investigation, known as Operation Micropus, has cracked down on an Albanian organized crime group’s extensive illegal activities. This group, deeply involved in facilitating illegal migration, money laundering, drug trafficking, and the creation and distribution of fake documents, saw at least nine journeys of Albanian economic migrants in 2016 and 2017. Interestingly, a portion of these operations involved the innovative use of a light aircraft, a method not commonly associated with people smuggling. The Journey from France to Essex Highlighting the group’s modus operandi, migrants would depart from Le Touquet airport in northern France and land at Stapleford Aerodrome Airfield in Essex. From here, Kadena was responsible for collecting the migrants. The cost of this perilous journey could reach up to £10,000, with additional charges for the counterfeit documents necessary to establish a new life in the UK. These documents, many of which were supplied by Hilaj, included fake passports, ID cards, and utility bills. Hilaj’s role was likened to that of a ‘travel agent’, meticulously planning and coordinating these illegal transits. Impact and Outcome of the Investigation The successful convictions of Hilaj and Kadena are a testament to the NCA’s relentless pursuit of those exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit. The broader investigation led to 27 arrests, with 11 convictions in the UK and nine overseas. Additionally, the dismantling of four forgery factories and the safeguarding of over 50 migrants underscore the operation’s significant impact on disrupting criminal networks. The seizure of drugs and arrest of individuals involved in other facets of illegal migration further highlight the comprehensive nature of the NCA’s efforts. This case sheds light on the sophisticated and diverse methods employed by organized crime groups to facilitate illegal migration. It also underscores the importance of international cooperation and persistent investigative work in bringing such operations to a halt. The sentencing of Hilaj and Kadena, scheduled for May, is eagerly awaited, as it represents a crucial step towards justice for the countless individuals exploited by their actions. For More Interesting News Follow Us on Instagram

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Creature feature Monster on a Plane takes off with trailer and poster

Ahead of its world premiere at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival this upcoming week, Riot City Entertainment and Cornelsen Films have shared a poster and trailer for the creature feature horror-comedy Monster on a Plane. Strap yourself in and check out the trailer below… “Professor Singh embarks on a journey to bring a mysterious […]

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No plane from Israel landed in Dhaka: CAAB | Bangladesh

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has categorically rejected reports of the alleged arrival of two direct flights from Israel, saying that no such incident took place.

“Bangladesh and Israel do not have any bilateral aviation agreement. No flight from Israel landed in Bangladesh,” CAAB said in a statement on Saturday (April 13).

Read more: Bangladesh reaffirms unflinching support for Palestine

According to media reports, a flight from Tel Aviv on April 7 and landed in Dhaka at 7:22pm before leaving at 11:55pm with cargo. The other one landed in Dhaka on the night of April 11 and took off at 12:30am with Bangladeshi-made garments to the Middle East and Europe. Both aircraft are registered in the United States and belong to National Airlines.

 

The notification said that Bangladesh and the US have a bilateral aviation agreement. Two cargo flights came to Dhaka under this arrangement. The flights from Dhaka went to Sharjah and Europe.

 

CAAB said misleading media reports may cause confusion among people and urged everyone to be cautious.

 

Read more: Avoid travel to Bangladesh: Israel tells its citizens

 

Bangladesh, a staunch supporter of the Palestine cause, does not have diplomatic ties with Israel.

 

Israel launched an unprecedented campaign of genocide targeting the Palestinians after Hamas members struck some cities, killing over 1,000 people and taking some hostages on October 7 last year.

 

At least 33,686 Palestinians have been killed and 76,309 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since then.

 

Read more: Bangladesh supports South Africa’s ICJ case against Israel

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has dubbed Israel’s actions “genocide”. Bangladesh believes in Palestinian independence and a two-state solution.

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