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Welsh duo face charges in alleged people smuggling operation

Two Welsh men, Dilshad Shamo, 41, residing in Castell Morgraig, and Ali Khdir, 42, from Pontygwindy Road, Caerphilly, are facing charges related to their alleged involvement in a people smuggling operation that facilitated the movement of over 500 illegal migrants across Europe. The charges were filed following an extensive investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

According to the NCA, Shamo and Khdir are accused of orchestrating a people smuggling ring operating from the UK. Their alleged activities involved coordinating the transportation of migrants via various means, including boats, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), and cars, from countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Syria, through the European Union to destinations including Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Germany, and France. The NCA suspects that a significant number of these migrants ultimately ended up in the UK.

Both Shamo and Khdir are believed to have collaborated as part of a broader organized crime group, violating EU immigration laws in the process. The two individuals appeared before Newport Magistrates’ Court, where they were remanded in custody. Their next court appearance is scheduled for March 18 at Newport Crown Court.

The arrests stem from initial apprehensions made in April 2023, with charges brought against them after answering bail on Sunday.

NCA Branch Commander Derek Evans emphasised the gravity of the situation, stating, “This investigation involves two UK residents suspected of organising the logistics of moving illegal migrants through Europe. The arrest and charge of these individuals represent a major disruption to a suspected international organised crime group alleged to have moved hundreds, if not thousands, of migrants illegally across borders.”

The charges brought against Shamo and Khdir highlight the ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to tackle the complex issue of people smuggling. The case underscores the alleged involvement of UK residents in facilitating the illegal movement of migrants, emphasising the need for comprehensive measures to address such transnational criminal activities.

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