01:03PM, Friday 24 November 2017
Harbans Lal Doll
A man from Langley has been jailed for more than five years for attempting to smuggle 16 people into the UK.
Harbans Lal Doll, of Dart Close, was stopped by border officers at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, France on February 12.
The 61-year-old said he had left the UK the previous day to go to Calais to collect some furniture in a hired British-registered Ford van.
When officers searched the van they found it three quarters full of beanbags and chairs with a double mattress stood upright part way inside the van.
Hiding behind the mattress the officers found 16 people, including five children.
The investigation was passed to Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) officers.
Doll was then charged with assisting unlawful immigration into the UK.
On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to the charges at Canterbury Crown Court and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison.
Assistant director David Fairclough, from the CFI team, said: “Although Doll offered no explanation for his behaviour, the judge considered in his sentencing that the motivation was financial.
“Offences like this, where individuals take advantage of the desperation of others for personal gain, are among the worst that we deal with in CFI.”
The 16 people, 14 Iraqi nationals - comprising three families - and two women from Albania, were passed to the French Police Aux Frontières.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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