A man and a woman have been sentenced to three years in prison
between them for trafficking three children to the UK,
writes Amy Taylor.
Johar Shah and Alia Kanwal smuggled two girls aged seven and
12-years-old and a boy aged 10-years-old through immigration at
Heathrow by pretending to be a family.
Shah pretended that the children were his own children, who are
listed on his passport, when his actual family was in Pakistan.
Kanwal used Shah’s wife’s passport to pretend to be
Shah was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment and Kanwal received
15 months at Isleworth Crown Court.
The plot was uncovered after the youngest girl was found
abandoned at terminal three at the airport in May. She was placed
in the care of Hillingdon social services and is now living with a
foster family. However, detectives are still looking for the other
two children who have yet to be found.
The children, who are all from Afghanistan, were brought into
the UK on a flight from Pakistan.
Shah and Kanwal, both from Peshawar in Pakistan, were arrested
after they attempted to amend their tickets for their return flight
at Heathrow. When interviewed by the police Shah admitted that he
had been offered £2,000 and Kanwal had been paid £1,000
to smuggle the children.
These are the first conviction for the trafficking of children
achieved by the Child Abuse Investigation Command’s Ports
Safeguarding Team. The team was created following the Paladin Child
scooping study of child migration into the UK through Heathrow