Driver hides four migrants in his lorry and tries to smuggle them out of the UK

A lorry driver has been jailed for attempting to smuggle migrants out of the country, when his plan was stifled by police.

The 35-year-old Romanian driver was stopped outside of Dover port when two Bangladeshis, one Indian and one Egyptian adult migrants were found in the rear of the trailer.

Marius Halmaghe, from Tulcea, was arrested by National Crime Agency Officers in Kent when the incident happened on October 1.

The truck was scheduled to sail on a ferry to Calais later that day.

Halmaghe was later charged with and pleaded guilty to attempting to facilitate illegal immigration.

A judge sentenced him to 31 months in prison at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday, (November 6).

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NCA branch operations manager Chris Hill said: “Halmaghe was involved in a dangerous criminal enterprise which not just broke immigration laws, it also put those migrants at serious risk.

“It just goes to demonstrate how criminals involved in people smuggling do not care about the safety or wellbeing of those they transport, they just see them as a commodity.

“People smugglers are seeking to maximise their profits utilising both inbound and outbound lorry movements.”

Last month, a mum-of-three who dubbed herself 'La Nonna', made at least £130,000 by taking advantage of migrants, who she also forced to work in cannabis farms.

Pranvera Smith, 47, founded a charity that claimed to help Albanian asylum seekers, after fraudulently securing a Big Lottery Fund grant for £10,000.

But instead she scared desperate immigrants into paying around £1,000 each for her services, which she claimed included securing benefits, housing and lodging asylum applications.

She was jailed for five years.

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