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Sudanese man jailed for two years after smuggling nine people across Channel using inflatable boat


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A man from Sudan has been jailed for smuggling himself and nine other people, including two children, across the Channel and into the UK.

Altaib Mobarak, 43, used a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) to try and reach the shores of Kent .

Altaib Mobarak was jailed for two years
Altaib Mobarak was jailed for two years

At Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday, August 18, Mobarak was sentenced to two years imprisonment, having admitted a charge of facilitating illegal entry into the UK at an earlier hearing.

The smuggler was at the helm of the boat as it was intercepted by a Border Force vessel on the morning of July 7.

Earlier that morning, the RHIB had been seen taking evasive action to get away from a French coastguard vessel patrolling the Channel.

The ten people onboard the small boat, including people from Sudan and Yemen, were transferred across the Border Force cutter and taken to Dover , before being passed over to inmigration officials.

Mobarak was arrested and the investigation into the incident was taken on by Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigation (CFI) officers.

The boat was brought to shore by Border Force officials
The boat was brought to shore by Border Force officials

In interview, Mobarak admitted driving the boat.

Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said: "People should seek asylum in the first safe country they enter and those attempting to cross the Channel, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, in unsuitable boats and without appropriate maritime skills are putting at risk the lives of all those on board.

"It is of particular concern when, as was the case here, vulnerable children are involved.

"It is precisely because of this risk to life – a reality that we have seen confirmed in yesterday’s tragic incident – that we are determined to put a stop to these dangerous crossings."

Mr O’Mahoney was appointed earlier this month , and will be working closely with the French to attempt to make it unviable for people to cross the Channel from Calais.

The RHIB carried 10 people across the channel, including Mobarak
The RHIB carried 10 people across the channel, including Mobarak

Meanwhile concerns have been raised by asylum-seeking charities in Kent for the welfare of children currently left in the care of Border Force officials, after Kent County Council announced it could no longer support any more unaccompanied asylum-seeking children arriving on the county's shores.

The concern stems from controversy in 2016 , when the conditions at asylum seeker holding centres at Longport and Frontier House in Folkestone and the Port of Dover were condemned by the Chief Inspector of Prisons.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here

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