Romanian people smuggler, 20, who tried to sneak seven people into the UK inside a specially adapted van is jailed for four-and-a-half years
- Liviu Borobeica, 20, hid five adults and two children in false bulkhead in van
- Claustrophobic space was hidden between rear passenger seats and boot area
- People inside, who said they were from Afghanistan, couldn’t leave without help
- Borobeica handed four-and-a-half-year sentence at Canterbury Crown Court
Liviu Borobeica, pictured, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for trying to smuggle seven people into the UK
A Romanian people smuggler who tried to sneak seven people into the UK crammed into a specially adapted van has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Liviu Borobeica hid five Afghan adults and two children inside a claustrophobic false bulkhead between the rear passenger seats and the boot area.
The Mercedes Sprinter van was stopped by Border Force officers at the inbound tourist controls at Dover Eastern Docks in Kent on March 16.
Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe, said: ‘The van had been adapted for the sole purpose of smuggling. There was no way for the people hidden inside the partition to get in or out without outside assistance.
‘The rear seats, which were bolted down, had to be removed before access to the hide could be gained.
‘It was a sophisticated concealment. Border Force officers will continue to work with law enforcement colleagues to ensure that people smugglers and traffickers face the full consequences of their crimes.’
Borobeica, 20, was arrested and the investigation was passed to officers from Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) team.
The group, who said they were all from Afghanistan, were hidden inside a claustrophobic false bulkhead between the rear passenger seats and the boot area
In interviews with investigators, Borobeica, of no fixed UK address, declined to answer any questions put to him by CFI officers.
At Canterbury Crown Court on Monday Borobeica admitted a charge of assisting unlawful immigration to the UK.
He was sentenced immediately to four and a half years imprisonment.
Acting Deputy Director David Fairclough, from the CFI team, said: ‘No consideration had been given to the safety of the seven people hidden inside the cramped partition.
‘If there had been any kind of accident there was no way for them to escape and a very real risk of serious injury.
‘Borobeica pleaded guilty at an early opportunity, but has rightly been handed a lengthy custodial sentence. The message is clear, if you are involved in immigration related criminality, you will be caught and the consequences will be severe.’
The cases of the seven people found in the van, who all claimed to be from Afghanistan, are being dealt with in line with the immigration rules.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit the Crimestoppers website.
Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe, said: ‘The rear seats, which were bolted down, had to be removed before access to the hide could be gained. It was a sophisticated concealment’
Source: Read Full Article