A British man who tried to smuggle migrant children as young as 1 into the UK by hiding them behind boxes in his van has been jailed for 4 years.
Trevor Saker, 44, was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday (July 27), after being found guilty of attempting to facilitate the entry of 14 migrants into the UK.
Saker had claimed to Border Force officers that he was travelling back to the UK from France after collecting shoes for his wife’s new business.
He was caught following an investigation by the Home Office’s Criminal and Financial Investigations (CFI) Unit.
The defendant, who now resides in Cadiz, Spain, was driving a Vauxhall Vivaro rental van when he was stopped by Border Force officers in the UK Control Zone in Coquelles, France in July 2018.
Officers found 14 illegal migrants in the back of the van, hidden behind cardboard boxes.
The migrants were identified as being Iraqi and Albanian nationals. Among the group were 4 children aged 1 to 6 years old.
The defendant was found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration following a thorough investigation and subsequent trial.
Chris Foster, Deputy Director of Criminal and Financial Investigations at the Home Office, said:
This defendant showed no regard for the safety of 14 people including children as young as 1, in order to line his pocket.
He has now been brought to justice, and this sentence sends a message that our officers are working night and day to tackle people smuggling and to ensure those responsible get the punishment they deserve.