A large truck in London (illustrative photo)

Czech truck driver convicted of migrant smuggling in Britain, sentenced to 10 years in prison

British officials found 21 Afghans, including 9 children, behind a hidden partition

London, Dec 13 (CTK) – A British court convicted a Czech lorry driver of migrant smuggling and sentenced him to ten years in prison, the local media has written and Czech MEP Tomas Zdechovsky informed Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek about the case.

Zdechovsky said the driver had believed a dubious offer of a one-off transport of mattresses from Belgium to Britain, for which he was to receive 500 pounds.

“Now we, along with his family and lawyers, will think of whether the driver will appeal or we will directly try to have him sent back to serve his prison sentence to the Czech Republic where his family will be able to visit him more easily,” said Zdechovsky.

In similar cases drivers were only fined or two of them were sentenced to two years in prison in France, he added.

The case occurred at the French town Coquelles on June 9, when the lorry was checked before being moved to the train transporting vehicles and passengers travelling through the Channel Tunnel to Folkestone in Britain.

The driver and his car were checked by the French, but in an x-ray check, British officials found 21 Afghans behind a hidden partition. There were nine children among them, the server Kentonline.co.uk wrote.

It stressed that there was no toilet or the possibility to wash oneself in the cache in the lorry.

The driver told the court that he had only known about the migrants’ presence behind his cab and that a certain Ali from India or Pakistan had hired him for the transport of the mattresses in a hotel whose location he was unable to specify.

“I am a Christian, I have three small children, I would not risk this. I could not look into my children’s eyes,” the driver told the court.

The prosecutor said he had known about the people smuggling and she dismissed his defence as untrustworthy.

The court described the man as cruel and pitiless, the server Kentonline.co.uk said.

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