Three men have admitted being involved in a sophisticated Swansea-based criminal conspiracy which provided false travel documents to allow migrants to enter the UK and claim asylum. The gang made tens of thousands of pounds by assisting Iranian nationals to enter the country using a system of fake identities and passports.

Mohammad Khatir, Seyed Hangeroudi, and Smerdis Hakhamanesh were on trial at Swansea Crown Court accused of conspiracy to facilitate the entry of asylum seekers into the UK when they changed their pleas to guilty during the prosecution case against them. Following the pleas no evidence was offered against a fourth defendant who was on trial, Ashkan Elaeeyzad. Before the trial started a fifth man, Kaveh Nazani, had pleaded guilty to the same offence.

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The court has previously heard that the defendants were part of an "organised crime syndicate" running a "professional operation to exploit the UK's asylum system" by providing false European or American identities and travel documents to Iranian nationals wishing to enter the UK. The gang would then book the people onto flights with carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair, usually from airports in the south of Spain, using contact addresses in Swansea. Once the passengers arrived in the UK they would usually present themselves to immigration officials as undocumented travellers and would then claim asylum. Prosecution barrister Andrew Jones KC had told the jury the operation was a "lucrative" one for the defendants and said it would be "naïve to think they were working alone" and that they were "clearly assisted by others". For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

Smerdi Hakhamensh, aged 28, of Phoebe Road, Copper Quarter, Swansea; Mohammad Ahmadi Khatir, aged 33, of Phoebe Road, Copper Quarter, Swansea, Seyed Medhi Dehghan Hangeroudi, aged 27, of Boileau Parade, Ealing, London, and 40-year-old Kaveh Nazani - whose address was given as Parc Prison in Bridgend - will be sentenced at a later date.

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