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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Jail for man who smuggled girls
From left, He Yun Jin, Lin Xiu Ming, Weng Mei Fang
He Yun Jin, Lin Xiu Ming, and Weng Mei Fang disappeared last March
A man who smuggled three teenage girls into Britain through Newcastle Airport has been jailed for four years.

Kim Sang Tong, 29, from London, faces being deported at the end of his sentence after pleading guilty to immigration offences.

A police investigation started in March 2005 when Chinese girls Weng Mei Fang, 16, and 17-year-olds Lin Xiu Ming and He Yun Jin, applied for asylum.

The girls later went missing and have yet to be traced.

After working closely with a number of other police forces and agencies, three Chinese nationals living in London were arrested last September.

'Vulnerable people'

The men were ultimately charged with a number of offences, including conspiracy to traffick illegal immigrants into the UK.

Tong admitted facilitating the girls' illegal entry into this country.

Another man, Yang Zheng, also from London, was given three years. The third man faces no further action, but is being deported to China.

Det Ch Insp Jim Napier, who headed the Northumbria Police investigation, said: "While this result does not lead us to the whereabouts of the missing girls, it will go some way to preventing more vulnerable young people being exploited in the same way.

"This highlights what a force can achieve in tackling organised crime at the highest level. "If people like Tong continue to use ports or airports within our area to traffick or smuggle people into this country we can and will trace them and bring them to justice."

The girls arrived in Newcastle from Paris.

They were housed by social services while their applications were being processed.


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