Two Iranian men have been jailed for smuggling themselves and 29 people across the Channel on two overcrowded rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB).

Ghodratallah Donyamali Zadeh, 26, and Ahmed Nayat Quadir, 20, were both sentenced to 24 months imprisonment on Thursday.

They had previously admitted assisting unlawful immigration into the UK.

Their convictions were secured at Canterbury Crown Court with footage from a Border Force drone.

Zadeh smuggled himself and 12 other people across the Channel in the early hours of 13 July, while Quadir smuggled himself and 17 other people, including four children, into the UK on 12 August.

When Border Force officers searched Zadeh on arrival in Dover, they found him in possession of a number of tools, which he said he had because he was driving the boat.

He said he had paid a lower amount of 500 Euros for the crossing for steering the RHIB.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The¬†tragedy in the Channel this week¬†highlighted the danger that this route poses.

“It is a reminder that anyone who facilitates these crossings is putting people’s lives at risk.

“I will do everything I can to stop criminals exploiting vulnerable people, and we are using the full force of the law to put organized criminals behind bars.”