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A Lorry Driver Who Tried To Smuggle Migrants Out Of The UK Has Been Jailed.

Officers from the National Crime Agency stopped a lorry near the port of Dover at about 13:30 BST on 1 October.

Four men from India, Bangladesh, and Egypt who had all paid to be taken out of the country were then discovered, a court heard.

Marius Halmaghe, 35, pleaded guilty at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday to the facilitation of unlawful immigration and has been jailed for 31 months.

The four men found in the lorry by officers were all suspected of having been in the UK illegally and were handed to the immigration authorities to be dealt with.

Defense barrister James Howard told the court Halmaghe, from Romania, had pulled his HGV over about seven miles from Dover.

There he claimed he had spoken to some other Romanian lorry drivers and one had asked if he would be willing to take the four migrants over to the continent.

Halmaghe said he was offered, and accepted, £200 per person to take the four men over the Channel and drop them off in Calais.

Judge Mark Weekes said he was skeptical it had been a “spur of the moment” decision.

He said the four men found inside the HGV were “overstayers with no legitimate reason to remain within the United Kingdom”.

Sentencing Halmaghe, Judge Weekes said: “Offences such as these create general risks to safety and security of borders both of the UK and European Union countries.”