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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 21:38 GMT
Gang guilty of people smuggling
Pilot Wyatt Anderson being held following his arrest
Pilot Wyatt Anderson was arrested after a cross-Channel flight
Three members of a gang of "upmarket" people smugglers have been convicted of helping illegal immigrants into the UK.

The men, two from London and one from Surrey, were part of an operation which flew Turkish nationals into secluded airfields in Kent and around the M25.

They are due to be sentenced on Monday alongside three co-defendants who had previously admitted their involvement.

After 12 flights were observed landing at rural airstrips, police swooped on the gang and made their arrests.

The three men found guilty at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court on Tuesday were: Mensur Hassan, 35, from Hackney, east London; Feyzullah Gulsen, 29, from Palmers Green, north London; and Wyatt Anderson, 49, from Camberley in Surrey.

They were all unanimously convicted of conspiring to facilitate the entry of illegal immigrants into the UK between 11 May and 3 July, 2004.

Chauffer-driven

Husband and wife Anthony and Jeanette Davies, both 43, from Edmonton, north London, and 47-year-old Isa Baskaya, from Hackney, who was one of the gang's chauffeurs, all pleaded guilty to facilitating illegal entry.

A six-seater Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee light aircraft, complete with padded leather seats, was used to pick up the Turkish nationals from airfields in Belgium and France.

They were flown to unmanned and unlicensed airstrips around south-east England.

The illegal immigrants were then chauffeur-driven to a cafe in London.

Clockwise from top left: Mensur Hassan, Isa Baskaya, Anthony and Jeanette Davies
Clockwise from top left: Mensur Hassan, Isa Baskaya, Jeanette and Anthony Davies

Philip St John-Stevens, prosecuting, told the court: "This was a rather glamorous and upmarket service that was being provided."

Anderson, the gang's pilot, was followed on two flights across the English Channel by officers from the National Crime Squad, now part of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.

On 2 July, 2004, he was filmed landing on a runway in Lamberhurst, Kent.

Three men, a woman and a young child jumped out of the plane and got over a fence, but they were detained as they ran for a waiting car.

Some of the gang members, including Anderson, were also arrested.

Det Insp Nigel Kent said: "He showed how easy it is to fly wherever you like [from unlicensed airstrips], whenever you want to, and get away with it on many occasions."

The gang was targeted after detectives already tracking Hassan, a known people-smuggler, observed him meeting Anderson in north London.

The wealthy illegal immigrants stayed at expensive hotels in France and Belgium, with the flights costing 7,000 per person.


SEE ALSO
Man arrested after plane chase
03 Jul 04 |  England

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