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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Damon Wilkinson

Fugitive head of Kurdish people smuggling ring arrested at Manchester Airport

The head of a Kurdish people smuggling ring who went on the run before he could be sent to jail has been arrested at Manchester Airport. Detectives from the National Crime Agency (NCA) issued an arrest warrant for Tarik Namik, 45, from Oldham, after he failed to show up for his sentencing at Manchester Crown Court last month.

In his absence, he was jailed for eight years. Four other members of the gang were sentenced alongside him, the NCA said in a statement.

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On Friday (January 20), Namik, was arrested after arriving at Manchester Airport on a flight from Istanbul. The NCA said he appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court this morning (Saturday) and was likely to be formally sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Monday.

The NCA added: "The court had previously heard how he became the subject of an National Crime Agency investigation in 2017, and headed up an organised crime group involved in transporting migrants from Iraq and Iran to the UK hidden in the back of lorries.

"Following his no-show at court a warrant was issued for Namik’s arrest, and he was detained as he arrived into Manchester Airport on a flight from Istanbul on Friday 20 January."

NCA Branch Commander Richard Harrison said: "Namik was a prolific people smuggler whose crime group put vulnerable migrants at great risk while he reaped the profits. I'm delighted that he will now face justice for the offences he committed.

"Fugitives never come off our radar, and I'd like to thank our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police for their assistance in ensuring he was detained quickly the moment he set foot back in the UK."

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