A sex offender has been jailed for a further 15 months after admitting an attempt to smuggle four Iraqi nationals into the UK.
Mamand Khadir, who is currently serving a 19-year sentence after being convicted in July of a series of child sex offences, was stopped in the early hours of October 5, 2015, by Border Force officers at the UK inward tourist controls at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France.
Khadir was the passenger in a British-registered Zafira being driven by Adam Qadiri, 27, of Stockleigh Road, St Leonards.
When questioned if there were only two people in the car Qadiri nodded his agreement.
He was then asked to open the boot and officers found one man in the boot area and a further three in the space where the third set of seats are situated.
Paul Morgan, director of Border Force South East and Europe, said: “Border Force officers are on the frontline keeping our borders safe and secure.
“We will continue to work with law enforcement colleagues to ensure that people smugglers and traffickers, who often put the lives of others at risk through their actions, face the consequences of their crimes.”
Qadiri and Khadir, both British nationals, were arrested and the investigation passed to Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigation officers.
During subsequent separate interviews Khadir claimed he had travelled as he wanted to buy tobacco while Qadiri said the reason for the trip was a short holiday in Germany.
Both men went on to say that the car had developed problems so they had decided to return to the UK the same day.
En route back to the Channel Tunnel they stopped at a restaurant leaving the car unlocked with the engine running while they were away.
The pair were charged with assisting unlawful immigration into the UK.
Khadir and Qadiri both admitted the offence when they appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on yesterday (Monday, December 18).
They were sentenced immediately to 15 months and three years respectively.
Assistant director David Fairclough, from the Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations team, said: “Khadir’s and Qadiri’s stories for the trip did not stand up to scrutiny.
“This was a premeditated, if unsophisticated, attempt to undermine the UK’s border controls.
“We take any such attempt extremely seriously and I am pleased to see that both men have been dealt with by way of custodial sentences.”
The four illegal migrants, who all claimed to be Iraqi nationals, were passed to the French Police Aux Frontières.