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Bulgarian driver who tried to smuggle three children and their mother into UK in lorry's secret compartment is jailed for four years

  • British border guards in France found five people hiding beneath the van
  • Five people, two adults and children aged six, three and two, were discovered
  • Bulgarian driver, who built the compartment especially has now been jailed

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A lorry driver tried to smuggle three children and two adults into the UK in a tiny compartment beneath his truck.

Border Force staff found four family members – a mother and her three children aged six, three and two – and another man in the coffin-like hideaway.

Officers at the Coquelles Eurotunnel terminal in France[2] had to prise open the container to free the stowaways.

A Bulgarian lorry driver made a secret compartment beneath this truck to smuggle migrants into the UK

A Bulgarian lorry driver made a secret compartment beneath this truck to smuggle migrants into the UK

Bulgarian lorry driver Rosen Nikolov has been jailed for four years after a judge heard how he had put their lives in peril for his own greed.

The 27-year-old had flown from Sofia to Luton days earlier and registered a flat-bed lorry in his name before driving it to France.

It was on the return journey in September that customs officers noticed the lorry had been altered, and discovered the illegal entrants crammed into the space.

Prosecutor Abigail Husbands told Canterbury Crown Court the secret compartment attached to the chassis had been sealed from the outside, but they managed to prise it open.

She added officers struggled to force an opening of 40cm by 100cm, and then saw two children before hearing the cries of youngest.

She said the mother and children were from Iraq, and the man – who was not known to the woman – was from Afghanistan.

Five people, two adults and three children, were hidden in this sealed compartment in France

Five people, two adults and three children, were hidden in this sealed compartment in France

Nikolov’s lawyers said he was ?80,000 in debt and agreed to transport the five for ?1,000 a person.

He added: ‘He did not realise that there were children, and feels extremely sorry now for what he did.’

The judge, Recorder Jonathan Higgs QC, told the lorry driver, who was appearing by prison video link: ‘This is an extremely serious crime.

It is the commercial exploitation of extremely vulnerable people.’

He said people like Nikolov had ‘fed off the vulnerable for his own financial gain’, and that the lorry driver had endangered the lives of the five.

The mother and children, who were not named, are believed to still be in France.

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ France (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Bulgarian driver who tried to smuggle three children and their mother into UK in lorry's secret compartment is jailed for four years

  • British border guards in France found five people hiding beneath the van
  • Five people, two adults and children aged six, three and two, were discovered
  • Bulgarian driver, who built the compartment especially has now been jailed

|

1

View
comments

A lorry driver tried to smuggle three children and two adults into the UK in a tiny compartment beneath his truck.

Border Force staff found four family members – a mother and her three children aged six, three and two – and another man in the coffin-like hideaway.

Officers at the Coquelles Eurotunnel terminal in France[2] had to prise open the container to free the stowaways.

A Bulgarian lorry driver made a secret compartment beneath this truck to smuggle migrants into the UK

A Bulgarian lorry driver made a secret compartment beneath this truck to smuggle migrants into the UK

Bulgarian lorry driver Rosen Nikolov has been jailed for four years after a judge heard how he had put their lives in peril for his own greed.

The 27-year-old had flown from Sofia to Luton days earlier and registered a flat-bed lorry in his name before driving it to France.

It was on the return journey in September that customs officers noticed the lorry had been altered, and discovered the illegal entrants crammed into the space.

Prosecutor Abigail Husbands told Canterbury Crown Court the secret compartment attached to the chassis had been sealed from the outside, but they managed to prise it open.

She added officers struggled to force an opening of 40cm by 100cm, and then saw two children before hearing the cries of youngest.

She said the mother and children were from Iraq, and the man – who was not known to the woman – was from Afghanistan.

Five people, two adults and three children, were hidden in this sealed compartment in France

Five people, two adults and three children, were hidden in this sealed compartment in France

Nikolov’s lawyers said he was ?80,000 in debt and agreed to transport the five for ?1,000 a person.

He added: ‘He did not realise that there were children, and feels extremely sorry now for what he did.’

The judge, Recorder Jonathan Higgs QC, told the lorry driver, who was appearing by prison video link: ‘This is an extremely serious crime.

It is the commercial exploitation of extremely vulnerable people.’

He said people like Nikolov had ‘fed off the vulnerable for his own financial gain’, and that the lorry driver had endangered the lives of the five.

The mother and children, who were not named, are believed to still be in France.

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ France (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Bulgarian driver who tried to smuggle three children and their mother into UK in lorry's secret compartment is jailed for four years

  • British border guards in France found five people hiding beneath the van
  • Five people, two adults and children aged six, three and two, were discovered
  • Bulgarian driver, who built the compartment especially has now been jailed

|

12

View
comments

A lorry driver tried to smuggle three children and two adults into the UK in a tiny compartment beneath his truck.

Border Force staff found four family members – a mother and her three children aged six, three and two – and another man in the coffin-like hideaway.

Officers at the Coquelles Eurotunnel terminal in France[2] had to prise open the container to free the stowaways.

A Bulgarian lorry driver made a secret compartment beneath this truck to smuggle migrants into the UK

A Bulgarian lorry driver made a secret compartment beneath this truck to smuggle migrants into the UK

Bulgarian lorry driver Rosen Nikolov has been jailed for four years after a judge heard how he had put their lives in peril for his own greed.

The 27-year-old had flown from Sofia to Luton days earlier and registered a flat-bed lorry in his name before driving it to France.

It was on the return journey in September that customs officers noticed the lorry had been altered, and discovered the illegal entrants crammed into the space.

Prosecutor Abigail Husbands told Canterbury Crown Court the secret compartment attached to the chassis had been sealed from the outside, but they managed to prise it open.

She added officers struggled to force an opening of 40cm by 100cm, and then saw two children before hearing the cries of youngest.

She said the mother and children were from Iraq, and the man – who was not known to the woman – was from Afghanistan.

Five people, two adults and three children, were hidden in this sealed compartment in France

Five people, two adults and three children, were hidden in this sealed compartment in France

Nikolov’s lawyers said he was ?80,000 in debt and agreed to transport the five for ?1,000 a person.

He added: ‘He did not realise that there were children, and feels extremely sorry now for what he did.’

The judge, Recorder Jonathan Higgs QC, told the lorry driver, who was appearing by prison video link: ‘This is an extremely serious crime.

It is the commercial exploitation of extremely vulnerable people.’

He said people like Nikolov had ‘fed off the vulnerable for his own financial gain’, and that the lorry driver had endangered the lives of the five.

The mother and children, who were not named, are believed to still be in France.

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ France (www.dailymail.co.uk)