Home UK Immigration ‘Reckless’ people smuggler jailed for bringing migrants across channel in dinghies

‘Reckless’ people smuggler jailed for bringing migrants across channel in dinghies

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Author-Basit Mahmood

A people smuggler who was caught while trying to smuggle 13 migrants, including two children, across the Channel in tiny inflatable boats, has been jailed. Sarbast Mohammed Hama, 31, of no fixed UK address, admitted assisting unlawful immigration at Lewes Crown Court and was jailed for three years and four months. An investigation was launched into the Iraqi national, when he was stopped in a dinghy packed with the 13 migrants by a Border Force cutter near Folkestone, Kent in March. Checks revealed he had previously been stopped on another inflatable boat on Christmas Day 2018, off the coast of Deal, Kent, with 10 Iraqi migrants, the Home Office said. After that brush with the law, he falsely claimed to be Iranian and applied for permission to stay in the UK, a process that was ongoing. Hama was arrested after the second stop. The inflatable boat that Sarbast Mohammed Hama, who has been jailed, used to bring migrants across the channel (Picture: PA) Sarbast Mohammed Hama, 31, loading his car with the boat, along with motors and lifejackets (Picture: PA) Steve Whitton, from Border Force’s maritime command, said: ‘When he was intercepted by Border Force, Hama was involved in reckless attempts to smuggle people, including young children, into the UK. ‘The vessels used were unfit to cross the channel in the best of conditions, let alone in the middle of winter.’ Investigators from the National Crime Agency examined the boat after Hama was stopped and traced it back to a shop in the Netherlands. From there, a team from Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigations, secured CCTV that showed him buying the boat along with motors and lifejackets. He was also filmed changing the number plates on his car outside the shop.


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