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People Smugglers Who Brought in Illegal Migrants in Car Boots Jailed

The men were sentenced to over six years in prison for smuggling seven Indian migrants into the UK


Two British men were sentenced yesterday (13 July 2023) to over six years in prison for smuggling seven Indian migrants – including women and children – into the UK, in the boots of two cars.


Palvinder Singh Phull, 48, from Hounslow, received three and half years for assisting unlawful immigration. On 8 July 2018, Mr Phull was stopped at the UK border in Dover, and three Indian nationals claiming to be Afghan Sikhs were found in the boot of his hire car.


His co-accused, Harjit Singh Dhaliwal, 45, from Middlesex, was jailed for three years and two months, also for assisting unlawful immigration. Four days after Mr Phull was arrested, on 12 July 2018, Mr Dhaliwal was stopped at the UK border and four Indian nationals also claiming to be Afghan Sikhs were found hiding in the boot of his car.


Following an investigation by the Home Office Criminal and Financial Investigations (CFI) unit, the suspects were found to be linked via mobile phone records.


The sentencing took place at Canterbury Crown Court, where the defendants both pleaded guilty to assisting unlawful immigration.


Chris Foster, Deputy Director of Criminal and Financial Investigations at the Home Office, said:

Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to those abusing our laws and borders: we will stop at nothing to bring to justice anyone attempting to smuggle people into the UK. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of my team, and their tireless efforts to tackle this type of crime. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to disrupt people smuggling gangs and make sure those who break our laws face the consequences.

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