Haulier who tried to smuggle migrants out of the UK has been jailed

A Romanian lorry driver who attempted to smuggle migrants out of the UK has been jailed for six years.

Sebastian Gabriel Podar from Tuzrii, was arrested as part of a long-running National Crime Agency Operation at the port of Dover on the 2nd of December last year.

Nine migrants were discovered in the back of the HGV, which was booked to travel on a ferry to France.

One of the migrants was under investigation for child sexual offences by police in Nottinghamshire and was later charged with 20 offences. The remaining eight migrants were handed to immigration authorities.

Podar had previously been stopped on the 16th of October by police, where they found six migrants inside his lorry.

Criminal gangs involved in people smuggling need complicit lorry drivers like Podar.

Their business model depends on it. For his part Podar saw this as an opportunity to make money, but instead he now faces a long prison sentence far away from home. I hope this sends out a message to others who would consider doing the same.

It simply isn’t worth the risk.

Chris Hill, NCA Branch Operations Manager