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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Barrow car wash owner told to repay £60k

AN ALBANIAN car wash owner has been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds after being found guilty of employing illegal immigrants and laundering money.

 

Defrim Paci, 32, who owned Shine Car Wash in Barrow, has been ordered to handover £60,000 of his criminal earnings after he was found guilty of employing illegal immigrants in the UK and laundering money.

Paci, who also owned car washes in Loughborough, Chesterfield and Sutton in Ashfield, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court in May 2011 after he admitted illegally employing foreign nationals to work in his car wash businesses across the north of England.

On Monday, the court issued a confiscation order for £60,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The full amount is to be repaid within four months or Paci will face 18 months in jail.

The UK Border Agency criminal financial investigation team had been investigating Paci’s businesses since May 2009 after he was found to have illegal immigrants working in his car washes.

In total more than six illegal immigrants were found to be working illegally under Paci’s employment. As part of the investigation an application was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover assets linked to the immigration crime.

Dave Magrath, head of the UK Border Agency Criminal Financial Investigation Team in the North West, said the order would send out a strong message.

He said: “The confiscation sends out a strong message to those thinking of exploiting people and disregarding the law to make a profit.

“We have specialist teams of immigration officers and police working to investigate cases just like this to ensure people are not able to benefit from breaking the UK’s immigration laws. We are determined to track down those involved and bring them to justice.”

Paci was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid community work in May of last year after pleading guilty to breaking immigration laws.

He told Carlisle Crown Court he took on his second cousin and one of his friends because of pressure from his other relatives, who believed it was his duty to look after them when they came illegally into the UK.

Defence counsel Azar Iqbal said: “Within Albanian culture family loyalty is to be jealously guarded. When it is breached it can be the source of violence in the extreme, or very bad feeling at the least.”

Paci pleaded guilty to breaking immigration laws by “providing accommodation and employment” to two people who had no right to be living or working in the UK.

He also pleaded guilty to the laundering of £108,059 – a charge based on the fact that he ran his business without paying tax.

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