EXCLUSIVE: Albanian 'most wanted pimp' caught trying to slip into UK on 'false Bulgarian
FUGITIVE: Gezim Troka's image from an Albanian Police wanted appeal
ONE of Albania's most wanted pimps was caught as he tried to slip into the UK using a fake Bulgarian passport, we can reveal.
Gezim Troka, 44, is listed on the Albanian Police wanted fugitives website as being on the run after being sentenced to six years in prison for the exploitation of prostitution.
He is now being held in an immigration detention centre to await removal from the UK.
Details emerged when Troka today applied to be released from the centre on bail while he tries to appeal his deportation.
In a hearing at Hatton Cross Tribunal Hearing Centre in west London Miss Quan-Vie, representing the Home Office, said: "This individual entered the UK using a falsified Bulgarian passport.
"There is an Albanian warrant for his arrest over prostitution offences committed between 1994 and 2000."
Speaking through a video link and an Albanian interpreter, Troka denied using a fake Bulgarian passport to enter the UK or being wanted by the Albanian authorities.
Miss Quan-Vie was unable to produce any documents to prove to the tribunal, however, tribunal judge VMD Fox was shown papers which showed there was a live Albanian warrant for his arrest over prostitution offences.
HEARING: The immigration tribunal centre at Hatton Cross (Google)
Troka spent several minutes speaking with his lawyer in private before he withdrew his bail application.
It was not clear from the proceedings if the Home Office had notified police in Albania about his detention or if he will be extradited back home.
Troka was not the only Albanian caught trying to enter the UK on a false EU passport who applied for bail at the tribunal centre the same day.
earlier, the tribunal heard that Fatjon Vela flew into Bristol Airport on May 15 this year with forged Romanian identity documents.
He was arrested for trying to illegally enter the UK using false documents and detained.
Vela made an immediate asylum application, but it was rejected as "completely unfounded."
Judge Fox refused his bail application, branding him at high risk of absconding.
He now faces deportation back to Albania by a Home Office charter flight.
WANTED: Gezim Troka's wanted page on the Albanian Police website
We contacted Albanian Police to reveal his whereabouts and to ask if he would be extradited, but got no response.
The Home Office refused to say if it alerted Albanian Police to Troka's detention, saying it did not comment on individuals or ongoing legal proceedings.
According to the National Crime Agency Albanian networks are the third most prolific group for people smuggling to the UK behind Iraqi Kurds and Afghans.
An NCA spokesman said: "False documents are seen as a “key enabler” of organised immigration crime."
Crime gangs specialise in Bulgarian passports – which provide entry to the UK because it is in the EU – on the belief that UK border staff would not know the difference between anyone speaking Albanian and Bulgarian.
Albanian mafia gangs are increasingly setting up in the UK. NCA figures for 2017 said the Balkan country had the third highest amount of organised crime gangs operating in the UK after British and Pakistani.
They are starting to take over top-level cocaine supply and cannabis cultivation and are also involved in money laundering and prostitution, involving women trafficked from Albania to EU countries.
SCAM: Arsen Baculi, an Albanian jailed for running a counterfeit ID operation in Romford (NCA)
In May Arsen Baculi, 23, from East Ham, east London, was jailed for five years at the Old Bailey for running a counterfeit ID operation.
He was arrested by the NCA after picking up a consignment of counterfeit documents, including a Greek passport and ID card with his picture on.
FAKE: Forged documents found at Baculi's ID factory (NCA)
The investigation into Baculi was linked to a joint NCA and Immigration Enforcement operation which saw the dismantling of a “fraud factory” making counterfeit documents in Romford last year. That operation saw a Romanian couple jailed for four and two years respectively for making fraudulent documents.
Last month the NCA arrested three men linked to a fake ID factory in a home in Hackney, north London.
A Ukrainian national, 37, and two Latvians aged 33 and 36, were released under investigation.