A Romanian lorry driver who attempted to smuggle 13 people into the UK at Newhaven port has been jailed for four years.
On November 11, 2014 Border Force officers at Newhaven stopped a Spanish-registered lorry which had arrived by ferry from Dieppe.
After questioning the driver, Liviu Sorin Gherghina, officers searched the lorry and its load of motorcycle parts. They found 11 people within the load and a further two men concealed under the bunk area in the cab.
Gherghina was arrested and the investigation passed to Home Office Criminal Investigation officers.
Following enquiries by the Home Office, Gherghina was charged with facilitating the commission of a breach of immigration law at Crawley police station in March and remanded into custody.
He pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Monday (September 14).
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: “We are determined to crack down on the vile trade of people smuggling and bring those responsible to justice, as this case demonstrates.
“Joint working between French and British law enforcement agencies is making it ever harder for criminals to pierce our borders, and our specialist teams of investigators will put those responsible before the courts.
“The criminals who seek to profit from society’s most desperate should know that they will be caught and they will end up behind bars.”
David Fairclough, assistant director from the Home Office Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team, said: “This was a blatant attempt on the part of Gherghina to smuggle a number of illegal migrants into the UK.
“Working closely with Border Force colleagues our specialist teams will rigorously investigate allegations of immigration crime.”
The 11 people found in the load, all Albanian nationals, along with the two Indian men from the cab have all been removed from the UK.
The Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team is a specialist unit of seconded police officers working alongside warranted Home Office immigration enforcement officers to investigate organised immigration crime.
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