People smuggler wanted by NCA absconded after being released on bail by court
A KEY player in a people smuggling plot that saw Albanians brought into the country from France and Belgium via dangerous small boat Channel crossings is being sought by the National Crime Agency (NCA) after he absconded when he was bailed by a court. Albanian Arsen Feci from Broxtowe Street, Nottingham, denied conspiring to facilitate a commission of a breach or attempted breach of immigration law at Nottingham Crown Court, but was bailed before trial. It is believed he has since fled the country and is being sought by the NCA. An NCA spokesman said: "We are appealing for information on the whereabouts of Feci, 44, from Nottingham. He was bailed by the court in March 2023 and absconded. Investigators believe he was involved in buying equipment and sourcing people to ‘staff’ the crossings. Details of the fugitive emerged as three other men in the conspiracy were jailed for a combined total of 13 years at the court on Friday, August 25 2023. Fellow Albanians Banet Tershana, Klodian Shenaj, Jetmir Myrtaj and British national Desmond Rice, 47, from Meadowcroft, Aylesbury, were responsible for a number of crossings in October 2022. The first incident occurred on October 8 when a rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) named Orca was spotted by a coastguard plane offloading a number of migrants in Joss Bay, Kent. The same drop off location was used for a second crossing on October 23. A third crossing was attempted after Rice provided a kayak to two men so they could access the boat. NCA officers, who were watching the group, tipped off Belgian Police and the boat was intercepted as it landed on the coast near Nieuwpoort on October 29. The two pilots, aged 35 and 45, were arrested and are now being prosecuted in Belgium. Tershana, 52, from Harmsworth Crescent, Hove, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration on April 17, while Myrtaj, Shenaj and Rice pleaded guilty in July. Tershana received five years imprisonment, Rice four years six months imprisonment and Shenaj, 49, from Broxtowe Street, Nottingham, four years nine months. Myrtaj, 45, from Kirby Road, Leicester, was sentenced separately on Tuesday (29 August) at the same court to four-and-a-half years in prison for organising illegal migrant crossings to the UK.
NCA Branch Commander Derek Evans said: “Tershana was the organiser, financier and collected payment from migrants, Shenaj was the conduit between mainland Europe based facilitators and the UK, and Myrtaj and Rice were integral to facilitating the crossings."
Main image shows left to right: Tershana, Rice, Myrtaj, Shenaj.