Ioannis Ballas, a 33-year-old self-employed plumber from Enfield who left Greece due to hard economic circumstances there, was sent in prison for two years due to his involvement in trafficking immigrants along the A14 in the United Kingdom.
Police said he had been caught with a van and three people, including a 14-year-old boy from Albania along the A14 at Newmarket on Sept. 20 with plans to transfer them elsewhere.
Recorder John Foy QC, during sentencing, said: “It was a planned organization, it has all the signs of that, and you were an integral part of that by supplying your services as a driver.”
Ballas is likely to serve half of his sentence in prison and the remainder on license and will be allowed to remain in the UK.
His lawyer, Gavin Pottinger said that his client had no role in this organization but he had just tried to do a favor for a friend, without having the intention to play a role in the smuggling of the people into the country. He also added that Ballas is a honest man who acted naively in his attempt to help a friend. The adult illegal immigrants were deported but those who planned the operation were not caught.