Romanian trucker tried to smuggle migrants out of the UK

A Romanian trucker who attempted to smuggle four adult migrants out of the UK has been handed a jail sentence. Marius Halmaghe from Tulcea had two Bangladeshis, one Indian and one Egyptian concealed in the rear of his trailer as he prepared to sail to Calais via Dover on October 1.

Marius Halmaghe from Romania has been jailed for 31 months Picture: NCA Marius Halmaghe from Romania has been jailed for 31 months Picture: NCAThe four adults migrants were hidden at the rear of his truck Picture: NCA The four adults migrants were hidden at the rear of his truck Picture: NCA

But they were uncovered by officers as he stopped his lorry just outside the port, leading to an arrest by the National Crime Agency.

The 35-year-old was later charged with and pleaded guilty to attempting to facilitate illegal immigration. At a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday, a judge sentenced him to 31 months in prison.

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.

Marius Halmaghe, 35, was arrested outside of the Port of Dover after four asylum seekers were found in his truck Picture: NCA Marius Halmaghe, 35, was arrested outside of the Port of Dover after four asylum seekers were found in his truck Picture: NCA

“People smugglers are seeking to maximise their profits utilising both inbound and outbound lorry movements.” The sentencing came the same day as a separate case involving another Romanian trucker and his girlfriend, also arrested by the NCA on suspicion of attempting to smuggle migrants out of the UK. Mihai Postolache, 24, was arrested at the wheel of an HGV on Friday, November 6 on the outskirts of Dover.

His companion Roxana Stan, also 24-years-old, was also detained. Five migrants were found inside the trailer. Both were later charged with facilitation offences and were due to appear before Medway Magistrates today.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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