By John Ensor •
Published: 29 Jan 2024 • 17:46
Image of UK police and NCA officers.
When the words United Kingdom and migrants are mentioned it’s usually in connection with people trying to enter the UK. However, a recent case highlighted an unusual twist.
A report from the UK’s NCA has highlighted a recent case in which 39-year-old Nikolai Kuznetsov, a Russian HGV driver, was sentenced to imprisonment for attempting to smuggle migrants from the UK to France.
The incident occurred on 17 August 2023, when Border Force officers at Dover Docks intercepted Kuznetsov’s vehicle.
During a thorough search of his trailer, officers discovered 22 migrants, including a family with a five-year-old girl.
The individuals, all from North Africa, were trying to evade French immigration and visa checks. Kuznetsov was promptly apprehended by the National Crime Agency for facilitating illegal entry into an EU member state.
He admitted his guilt at Canterbury Magistrates Court, leading to his sentencing on January 26 to four years and four months in prison.
John Turner, Operations Manager at the National Crime Agency, commented on the case. ‘Kuznetsov was complicit with the people smugglers whose only concern was making money, rather than the wellbeing of those individuals found in his trailer.
‘Thankfully they were found and safeguarded, but we know organised crime groups will continue in their attempts to use migrants to make money,’ he said.
Turner emphasised the NCA’s commitment to working with various partners, both within the UK and abroad, to ensure legal entry and exit from the country. He affirmed that this conviction sends a warning against any illegal migration facilitation.
‘This sentencing sends a clear message to anyone concerned in facilitating illegal migration, to or from the UK, that they will be caught and will receive a custodial sentence,’ Turner concluded.
This case underscores the risks and consequences of smuggling activities, especially in a world grappling with migration challenges. It serves as a reminder of the importance of lawful and safe migration practices.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
The UK is so bad migrants want to escape for a better life.
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