Arnoldes Jocys, 19, pleaded guilty yesterday (12 September) at the start of his scheduled four day trial at Hull Crown Court and was sentenced immediately to 27 months’ imprisonment. He had been charged with facilitating a breach of the UK’s immigration laws.
Jocys had been stopped by Border Force officers at the Port of Hull on the morning of 16 May. He had arrived on an overnight ferry from Rotterdam and was driving a Mercedes Sprinter van.
When questioned by officers, Jocys said he was delivery driver and that he was carrying a mixed load of vodka, beer, cigarettes, furniture and barbecues.
Mark Robinson, Border Force Assistant Director with the Humber Command, said:
Jocys was nervous when he was being spoken to and when the rear of the van was searched it became obvious why. As officers unloaded the contents, they found, hiding behind a sofa, two Chinese men. The cargo area had been filled floor to ceiling with goods. It was clear the Chinese men could not have found their way into the vehicle without assistance.
Jocys, of no fixed UK address, was arrested and the case was passed to Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) Team. In interview, the two Chinese men said they had been placed into the van in Belgium, although they could not say by whom. They were returned to Belgium later the same day (16 May).
Subsequent forensic examination found that the rear and side doors of the van had been fitted with a new locking system which meant they could only be opened with a key from the outside.
Mike Reed, CFI Inspector, said:
This evidence supported the prosecution case that the two illegal migrants could not have got into the rear of the van without Jocys’ knowledge.
This was a shameless attempt to bypass the UK’s immigration controls that was prevented thanks to the expertise of my colleagues in Border Force. With the evidence they provided, alongside our own investigations, we have been able to bring a would-be people smuggler to justice.
I hope that this case sends a clear message to anyone else tempted to get involved in criminality of this type – you will be caught and brought before the courts.
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.