Convicted human trafficker removed from UK for third time after being arrested in Walthamstow

A convicted human trafficker will be removed from the UK for a third time after a National Crime Agency investigation to trace him.

NCA officers located Albanian Hazir Lala, 39, in Walthamstow, on Friday evening.

He was arrested, taken into custody and handed over to colleagues from Immigration Compliance and Enforcement for deportation. The date has not yet been set.

Lala has a long list of previous convictions.

In April 2016 he was convicted of drunk driving, driving without insurance and possession and control of false ID documents – the offences were committed a few months earlier in February.

He was disqualified from driving for 15 months and jailed for six months.

He was arrested again in the UK on September 4, 2019 for organised immigration crime offences committed in Belgium.

His extradition was ordered and he was returned to Belgium in 2020 where he was convicted of human trafficking and participating in a criminal organisation.

He was given a five-year prison sentence but it was partially suspended. He was also ordered to pay a fine of €102,000, but 51,000 was suspended.

Lala returned to the UK and was arrested again under the Immigration Act 1971 on February 20 for overstaying.

A deportation order was signed on April 7 2020 and he was deported to Albania on August 19, 2020.

But Lala slipped back into the country again.

NCA officers have been hunting Lala since July.

NCA regional head of investigations Jacque Beer said: “Hazir Lala is a convicted human trafficker and has no place in the UK, his presence here presented an unacceptable risk to the public.

“Tackling organised immigration crime and human trafficking is a priority for the agency.

“We saw with last week’s tragedy in the Channel, the horrendous dangers of organised immigration crime which the agency and its partners are doing everything possible to combat.”


Mick Ferris

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