Turkish lorry driver appears in court charged with trying to traffic migrants OUT of the UK 'after being caught with 17 people in his trailer on M25'

Turkish lorry driver appears in court charged with trying to traffic migrants OUT of the UK ‘after being caught with 17 people in his trailer on M25’

  • Hakan Zengin, 36, was arrested by the National Crime Agency on M25 on Sunday
  • Officers found 17 migrants in the back of the lorry which was headed out of UK
  •  Zengin appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court charged with assisting illegal immigration and has been remanded in custody until an appearance next month
  • Migrants were arrested for immigration offences and dealt with by Border Force 

By Katie Feehan For Mailonline

Published: 14:53, 24 March 2021 | Updated: 14:53, 24 March 2021

A lorry driver has been charged of trying to smuggle migrants out of the UK.

Turkish national Hakan Zengin, 36, was arrested after 17 migrants were discovered in the back of his truck bound for mainland Europe.

Zengin was stopped at the M25’s junction with the A3 in Surrey on Sunday afternoon.

Police say the stowaways, concealed in the lorry’s trailer, were sitting on pallets which had been laid across the load to make their journey more comfortable.

They were all arrested on suspicion of immigration offences and are being dealt with by the immigration authorities.

Zengin is accused of trying to smuggle them out of the UK and into mainland Europe.

A Turkish lorry driver has appeared in court charged with people smuggling offences after 17 migrants were found in the back of his lorry during a National Crime Agency investigation

He appeared before Wimbledon Magistrates yesterday where he was remanded into custody until his next court appearance at Kingston Crown Court next month.

Why people, who have overstayed their welcome in the UK, suddenly decide to pack and leave could be down to a number of factors.

A spokesperson for the National Crime Agency said: ‘Smuggling migrants out of the UK is more common than you’d think, with people smuggling working both ways.

‘There are multiple reasons why they’d be leaving the UK.

‘Some have been wanted for serious criminality and are fleeing the jurisdiction.

‘Some are subject to deportation and do not want to be deported to their home country and are fleeing to Europe.

‘Some are in the UK illegally, have no travel documents and cannot leave to visit family or sort out affairs in their home country.

‘They are generally found without any legitimate travel documents when encountered in the lorries.’

Turkish lorry driver appears in court charged with trying to traffic migrants OUT of the UK 'after being caught with 17 people in his trailer on M25'

Police say wooden pallets were laid out for the migrants to sit on in the back of the trailer

Around 20,000 illegal immigrants choose or are forced to leave the UK every year, according to the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford.

The number of returns, especially voluntary, have fallen dramatically since 2015, although the figures are contested.

Encouraging illegal immigrants to leave the country of their own volition has been one of the UK government’s key policy objectives.

This is partly because a voluntary return costs the government on average GBP1,000, compared to GBP15,000 for an enforced return.

In 2014, the government launched the hostile environment policy, specifically designed to make staying in the country difficult for those without legal authorisation.