Pair jailed for attempt to smuggle migrants out of the UK

Two men who attempted to smuggle migrants from the UK to France in the back of a lorry have been sentenced following a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation.

Tarik Slimani, 47, from north London, and Driss Hasska, 54, from Italy, were observed by NCA officers as they met at a bus stop in Kent on the evening of 4 August 2023.

It was there that they transferred a group of people from Slimani’s hire van into the trailer of Hasska’s lorry.

NCA officers tailed Hasska to a service station near Maidstone where they searched the trailer of his lorry and discovered eight men and a woman inside.


A short time later Slimani pulled into the services and both men were arrested and conveyed to police custody.

It is suspected that the migrants, who were all of North African origin, were being taken to France in a bid to avoid border immigration controls.

In interview Slimani claimed he was driving to Ashford to collect a coffee table when he stopped at the bus stop alongside the lorry to go to the toilet.

He said that by the time he returned to his van he couldn’t remember the exact location of where he was going, so began driving home before stopping at the services to go to the toilet again.

In a prepared statement given to officers, Hasska claimed he had no knowledge of the migrants in his trailer.

Tarik Slimani

Both men appeared at Maidstone Crown Court today (18 April) for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to facilitating illegal entry into an EU country.

Slimani was sentenced to 22 months in prison, and Hasska to 32 months.

John Turner, NCA Operations Manager, said:

“Today’s outcome is a clear warning to anyone involved in facilitating illegal migration – you will be caught and put behind bars.

“A meticulous NCA investigation foiled this smuggling attempt, and our work to disrupt and dismantle the criminal networks involved in this activity is relentless. Tackling organised immigration crime is a priority for the NCA.”

18 April 2024