A man has appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ court charged with being part of an operation to smuggle Iraqi illegal immigrants into the UK at a Shipley car wash.

Ali Mahmood Ahmed, 37, is accused of running the conspiracy at the Pit Stop Car Wash in Valley Road with “others unknown”.

Ahmed was arrested during an early morning raid on the car wash by Home Office officials and crime investigators on March 17 this year.

Prosecutor Vince O’Malley said that between March 20, 2014, and March 17 this year at the Pit Stop Car Wash on Valley Road, Ahmed is alleged to have conspired with two undercover officers named in court only as Ian and Dan and other unknown people to “clandestinely smuggle Iraqi migrants from Europe to the UK, which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law by unknown Iraqi nationals”.

District judge Susan Bouch told Ahmed the charge he faces was too serious to be dealt with by magistrates and remanded him on bail to appear at Bradford Crown Court on May 1.