Author: Georgia Diebelius
Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/25/man-jailed-after-trying-to-smuggle-illegal-immigrant-into-uk-in-car-boot-7882635/?ito=cbshare
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A man who attempted to smuggle an illegal immigrant into the UK through the Channel Tunnel in his car boot has been jailed.
Dale Higgins, 36, was stopped by Border Force officers at the tunnel entrance in Coquelles, France, who found a man curled-up inside the boot of his Audi A4.
Higgins claimed he had been to Amsterdam for the day to do some drinking and gambling.
He said he had travelled to the Netherlands by ferry on the Hull to Rotterdam route.
Higgins, from Haworth, West Yorkshire, was arrested and the case passed to Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) officers.
They uncovered mobile phone forensic evidence that showed a third party’s contact number stored on the phones of both Higgins and the illegal immigrant.
Following investigations into the incident, which happened on the evening of June 16, Higgins was charged with assisting unlawful immigration into the UK.
He pleaded guilty to the offence at his first hearing today at Canterbury Crown Court, Kent, and was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment.
David Fairclough, assistant director at the CFI, said he hoped the sentence would serve as a warning to others.
He said: ‘The analysis of Higgins’ phone and that of the man found in his boot provided compelling evidence that this was a premeditated attempt to breach the UK’s border controls.
‘I hope Higgins’ imprisonment sends a clear message to anyone tempted to get involved with this kind of criminality – you will be caught and brought before the courts.
‘We work closely with Border Force colleagues to rigorously investigate allegations of immigration-related criminality.’
The illegal immigrant, who claimed to be from Albania, was passed to the French Police Aux Frontieres.
Paul Morgan, director of Border Force South East and Europe, said: ‘Border Force works in close partnership with other UK and French law-enforcement agencies.
‘To to secure the border in northern France, the result of which is that it is one of the most secure in Europe.
‘We will continue to work to ensure that people smugglers and traffickers, whose actions so often put the lives of others at risk, face the full consequences of their crimes.’
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.