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Man jailed for ferrying 25 asylum seekers across Channel illegally on inflatable boat

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A man who illegally ferried 25 people across the Channel on an inflatable boat has been jailed.

Hammad Al Shamari steered the overcrowded vessel from the French coast towards Dover under the cover of darkness on March 30.

Hammad Al Shamari, 36, has been jailed
Hammad Al Shamari, 36, has been jailed

It was intercepted by Border Force, and photos later identified the 36-year-old as the pilot.

The Kuwaiti Bidoon national was arrested and charged with assisting unlawful immigration into the UK, before being found guilty in November.

Following a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court, he has now been sentenced to two years and six months behind bars.

Tom Pursglove MP, minister for justice and tackling illegal migration, said: “These journeys are illegal, dangerous and unnecessary.

"Just last month we saw the devastating consequences of attempting to cross the Channel.

'These journeys are illegal, dangerous and unnecessary...'

“Small boat pilots put the lives of everyone in their boat in mortal danger and it is right that we deter further attempts by bringing them to justice.

“Our New Plan for Immigration will help prevent these dangerous crossings by introducing tougher penalties for those who risk people’s lives by facilitating illegal immigration.

"This is what our Nationality and Borders Bill will deliver.”

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