The people smuggling gang member who from his tiny flat in Hull set up a criminal enterprise charging migrants £10,000 to get to the UK on dinghies

To the outside world he was a young man living in a city centre flat who kept himself to himself. But unbeknown to many and from his home in Hull, Nzar Jabar Mohamad was a significant and influential member of an international organised crime group, plotting to bring asylum seekers into the UK on rubber dinghies.

A migrant himself, Mohamad had arrived in the UK from Iraq in April 2019, concealed in the cab of an HGV, at a southern port. His main aim - to continue his organised immigration crime empire.

He lied and told authorities he had fled Iran over fear of violence or death in a bid to make sure he could remain in the UK.

Mohamad would spend hours on his phone researching the small boats and HGVs he could purchase to facilitate the smuggling.

Nzar Jabar Mohamad was a significant and influential member of an international organised crime group, plotting to bring asylum seekers into the UK on rubber dinghies.

His plan was to bring hundreds of migrants - mainly women - from war-torn countries, charging them up to £10,000 each to make the crossing, pocketing the money for his own financial gain.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) first began investigating this organised crime group, which spread across Europe - in 2018 under Operation Wringbolt.

NCA operations manager Gavin Heckles said: "Our main priority from the start was always the protection of life and those individuals who were essentially being exploited and being brought to the UK for financial gain of the organised crime group.

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"We identified that he'd been in Europe for quite some time and had been moving around a number of countries, including France and Holland and further investigations revealed organised immigration crime activity and plans to facilitate people through various countries with the final destination being the UK."

After claiming asylum in the UK, Mohamad lived in various places, before settling in Waterloo Street, Hull, and it was here he continued plans for his money-making enterprise, but unbeknown to him, NCA officers were tracking his every move.

His conversations were recorded and revealed some disturbing details.

"As part of our operation as that occurred we deployed a number of technical options, and a number of tactics which allowed us to attempt to capture evidence of his continued criminality," Mr Heckles said.

"It was during the months following that we were able to capture a lot of conversation in his flat which when translated became immediately apparent that he was very much an active organised immigration career criminal running multiple endeavours to bring migrants to the UK.

In late 2019, NCA investigators received information on a specific event Mohamad was planning. Working with partners in France and Holland, officers attempted to identify the migrants abroad, but were not able to do. At the same time Mohamed's conversations about when they were to be captured started to progress.

Mr Heckles said: "We found ourselves in the position where clearly we had to take some executive action to thwart the attempt to bring people over."

Mohamad was arrested and a number of mobile phone devices were seized from his flat in Hull.

Investigators downloaded software from his mobile phone.

Mr Heckles said: "We obtained a lot of information from there and combined with the audio recordings we had from his flat it was very clear from the material that he was very much the organiser and facilitator of moving multiple people on numerous occasions.

"The interesting part about the download from his phone was that we had captured a lot of images on there where he was researching inflatable ribs and other such vessels online in the lead up to his purchase."

Mohamad admitted planning to smuggle migrants to the UK using small boats and was sentenced to ???

NCA head of organised immigration crime operations, Miles Bonfield, said: "This investigation is a really good example of the threat the UK faces from organised criminals and also our response shows this is a highly dangerous method of clandestinely arriving in the UK, as we've seen in recent deaths in the Channel just last October.

"Organised crime groups don't care for the lives of the people they are moving. In fact, they are targeting people often in the most vulnerable situations and circumstances and exploiting them for their own benefit and profit.

"Organised immigration crime is the highest priority for the NCA. There are around 50 investigations of this nature currently ongoing."