Truckers caught smuggling people into UK

Two lorry drivers who were caught trying to smuggle people into the UK through Kent have been jailed. Ionut-Nando Mocanu and Genadijs Kuznecovs were both sentenced after being caught separately trying to conceal people in their vans.

Ionut-Nando Mocanu, left, and Genadijs Kuznecovs were caught trying to smuggle people into the UK. Photo: Border Force Ionut-Nando Mocanu, left, and Genadijs Kuznecovs were caught trying to smuggle people into the UK. Photo: Border ForceBoth men were caught at the Eastern Docks in Dover Both men were caught at the Eastern Docks in Dover

Mocanu, 32, was stopped by Border Force Freight Officers at the Eastern Docks in Dover on November 26. Officers searched his HGV and found two men and a boy hidden within the front of the vehicle.

Three days later, 41-year-old Kuznecovs was also stopped at the docks and found to be hiding a man and a woman in the cab of his lorry.

Mocanu, a Romanian national, and Kuznecovs, from Latvia, each appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday, January 4 and Wednesday, January 5 respectively. They were both found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration and were sentenced to two years in prison. A Home Office spokesman said that all five people found in the two lorries – all of whom were from Albania – were found to be ‘illegal entrants’ and served with immigration paperwork.

David Fairclough, deputy director of Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigation said: “Our trained Border Force officers are skilled to search, find and stop anyone attempting to bring people illegally into the country hidden in vehicles.

“I hope this sentencing sends a clear message that breaking the law for the sake of some extra cash is simply not worth it.”