Seven individuals have been imprisoned for their involvement in trafficking illegal immigrants from Albania to the UK to work in cannabis cultivation facilities. The Metropolitan Police, in collaboration with the Home Office’s immigration enforcement department and the UK Border Force, dissolved the group, describing it as a “sophisticated organized crime group.” The substantial criminal conviction demonstrates the National Crime Agency’s previous acknowledgement that Albanian gangs were importing illegal immigrants for the purpose of working in cannabis farms. The immigrants were concealed in specially designed compartments within Romanian lorries that crossed the English Channel via ferry. The investigation began after receiving intelligence from a Safer Neighbourhoods Team that was investigating cannabis factories in the London Borough of Brent. The investigation team uncovered a simple business model employed by the organized crime group, which facilitated the entry of criminals into the UK. The criminals were transported to their destinations, often properties in Southgate, and paid between £20,000 and £24,000 in cash to work in the cannabis factories. The gang was dismantled, and arrests were made in May 2021. Several individuals, including Arlin Leka, Dimitraki Nika, and Doru-Emil Moldovan, received prison sentences, while Kristian Agolli, Aldis Cseplye, Sorin Holerca, and Jozef Szekely were convicted after a six-week trial. The Home Office’s criminal and financial investigation unit emphasized its commitment to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to disrupt human smuggling networks and ensure the accountability of those who exploit the law. The report also noted the rise in cannabis cultivation in the UK, which has led to an increase in violence related to the trade. Several incidents, including fatal stabbings, have been linked to break-ins at cannabis farms. The trial of individuals accused of killing Xhovan Pepaj, an Albanian national guarding a cannabis factory in Tunbridge Wells, is set to commence next month at Lewes Crown Court.