Fugitive ringleader of Kurdish people-smuggling gang is arrested at Manchester Airport on flight from Istanbul… six weeks after failing to show at court for eight-year jail term

  • Tarik Namik, 45, failed to show up at Manchester Crown Court on December 9
  • Four members of gang were also sentenced according to National Crime Agency
  • Gang allegedly transported migrants from Iraq and Iran to UK hidden in lorries

Tarik Namik, 45, from Oldham, failed to show up at court and was given an eight-year jail term

The head of a Kurdish people smuggling ring has been arrested after going on the run ahead of his sentencing, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

Tarik Namik, 45, from Oldham, failed to show up at Manchester Crown Court and was given an eight-year jail term in his absence on December 9.

Four other members of his gang were sentenced alongside him, according to the NCA.

The agency said the court had previously heard how Namik became the subject of an NCA investigation in 2017.

He headed an organised crime group involved in transporting migrants from Iraq and Iran to the UK hidden in the back of lorries.

He was detained as he arrived at Manchester Airport on a flight from Istanbul yesterday. File image

He was detained as he arrived at Manchester Airport on a flight from Istanbul yesterday. File image

Four other members of his gang were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court (pictured) alongside him, according to the NCA

Four other members of his gang were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court (pictured) alongside him, according to the NCA 

A warrant was issued for Namik’s arrest after he failed to attend court and he was detained as he arrived at Manchester Airport on a flight from Istanbul yesterday.

The NCA said he was due to appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Saturday and is likely to return to the crown court on Monday to be formally sentenced.

Working with people smugglers abroad, the organised crime group is suspected of smuggling at least 1,900 migrants, who were picked up in the Balkans, into France or Germany during a 50-day period.

The gang then offered different means of trying to enter Britain, where the migrants would claim asylum.

Alongside Namik, four other men – Hajar Ahmed, 39, from Manchester, Soran Saliy, 32, from Stoke, Habil Gider, 54, from Stoke and Hardi Alizada, 32, from Nottingham – also received sentences ranging from nearly five years to 16 months for their role in the criminal scheme.

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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