A man who attempted to smuggle a group of Afghan nationals into the UK on a small boat has been jailed for five years.
Romanian Marion Badea, 30, was discovered on board the inflatable motor boat in the English Channel, near Dover, just before 10am in June this year after a lifeboat was sent to rescue it following engine failure, a Home Office spokesman said.
Seven men, aged between 20 and 35, and a 16-year-old boy, from Afghanistan, were also discovered on the boat, trying to enter the country illegally, he added.
The vessel was towed into Dover harbour by a Border Force cutter and Badea was arrested and charged with assisting unlawful entry into the UK.
Badea, who served nine months in a French prison last year for a similar offence, denied the charge but was convicted and sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court following a two-day trial, the spokesman said.
All those on board the boat were removed from the UK apart from the teenager who was transferred into the care of social services, according to the Home Office.
David Fairclough, assistant director of the Home Office immigration enforcement criminal investigations team, said: “This was an unsophisticated and brazen attempt to smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK.”