FOUR GUILTY OF TRAF­FICK­ING

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ERYL CRUMP

73-yr-old fac­ing jail for plot to get peo­ple through port on wrong pass­ports:

FOUR Viet­namese peo­ple are fac­ing jail af­ter be­ing found guilty of peo­ple traf­fick­ing in North Wales.

De­scribed as an or­gan­ised group, they used valid pass­ports in a bid to get other peo­ple through immigration.

Thi Lien Nguyen was found guilty of con­spir­ing with oth­ers to breach immigration law fol­low­ing an 11-day trial at Caernar­fon Crown Court.

The 73-year-old, of Eve­lyn Street, Lewisham, Lon­don, was de­scribed as the head of the con­spir­acy.

Her son, Kevin Lam, 35, of Peck­ford Place, Lam­beth, Lon­don, was also found guilty.

The jury also con­victed Hoa Thi Le, 59, Pomeroy Street, Lewisham, Lon­don, and Ha Thuy Pham, 31, of Stan­ley Road, West Bromwich, Birmingham.

A fifth de­fen­dant, Tony Do, 21, of Kash­mir Road, Lon­don, whose pass­port was said to have been used in the con­spir­acy was cleared of the charge.

Ad­journ­ing sen­tence, Judge Ni­clas Parry re­manded the four in cus­tody.

Dur­ing the trial, the jury heard the Home Of­fice car­ried out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion known as Op­er­a­tion Hyrax.

The case con­cerned the UK end of an or­gan­ised crime group in­volved in the traf­fick­ing of Viet­namese nationals into the UK. It was done via the EU us­ing the iden­ti­ties of gen­uine UK pass­port hold­ers.

The case in­volved the en­try, or at­tempted en­try, into the UK of three peo­ple.

A young Viet­namese woman called Ha Le Ho ar­rived at Holy­head Port in An­gle­sey from Ire­land in Novem­ber 2015, us­ing the name of Hoa Le Thi but pre­sent­ing the pass­port of an­other woman.

Si­mon Mills, pros­e­cut­ing, said Thi Lien Nguyen had made a se­ries of calls to the woman and sent her text mes­sages. Travel ar­range­ments were made for flights from Vi­enna to Dublin.

“On Novem­ber 5, 2015, Dublin air­port CCTV footage shows Thi Lien Nguyen, in a wheel­chair, with three oth­ers. She was al­lowed into Ire­land, and got up out of the wheel­chair and walks away.

“Ha Le Ho got through the bor­der, and is seen the same day at Dublin Fer­ry­port with two women. When Ha Le Ho ar­rives at the Port of Holy­head, she was re­fer­ring to her­self by the name of the fourth de­fen­dant, Hoa Le Thi, but pre­sent­ing a pass­port in the name of an­other woman.”

The man with them at Dublin Air­port was car­ry­ing Tony Do’s pass­port.

Mr Mills told the jury: “This per­son was re­fused en­try into the UK and not de­tained, so he has dis­ap­peared into thin air. We do not know who he was, but we do know he was us­ing Tony Do’s pass­port, and that he was not en­ti­tled to.”

Prose­cu­tors ar­gued the group ran a com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion and Thi Lien Nguyen was said to have ded­i­cated enor­mous amounts of time, ef­fort and travel around the world to or­gan­ise the flout­ing of immigration law by Viet­namese peo­ple.

Hoa Le Thi was said to have al­lowed her iden­tity to be used in the travel of an­other Viet­namese woman, who was car­ry­ing a photo of her pass­port and us­ing her name.

She said she didn’t know how this came about.

Kevin Lam took money and made travel book­ings for his mother Thi Lien Nguyen. He claimed he did these things for her in good faith.

Ha Thuy Pham was in­volved in the travel ar­range­ments of a second woman.

The jury heard an­other de­fen­dant, Thuy Thi Thanh Nguyen, 59, of Lewisham, Lon­don, pleaded guilty at an ear­lier hear­ing.

Thi Lien Nguyen at Caernar­fon Crown Court, and be­low, her son Kevin Lam

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