A man who smuggled people into the UK in sofas and armchairs has been jailed.
Arman Yusuf Rahmani, 21, from Iran, was granted asylum in the UK after entering the country in the back of a lorry.
From December 2018 to April 2019, Rahmani hired six different ‘man with van’ drivers and agreed to have them drive from the UK to France or Belgium to collect and transport used furniture to the UK.
Unbeknownst to the hired drivers, hidden in the sofas were migrants who had paid to be smuggled into the UK and concealed at bases.
The drivers were ordered not to assist with loading the vehicles and were distracted while loading.
Less than two years after entering the UK, Rahmani had established a criminal network to facilitate the illegal entry of foreign nationals into the UK.
He was sentenced to 2 years and 7 months at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaking UK immigration law.
Immigration and Justice Compliance Minister Chris Philip said:
“Rahmani has shown a blatant disregard for the laws of the UK, a country that has provided him with security and a place to live that he has rightly paid a price for.
“This case shows how far criminals will go to take advantage of our broken asylum system by putting people’s lives at risk
“We aim to step up the prosecution of human smugglers in the country, which is why this government is proposing legislation through our new immigration plan, breaking the business model of these heinous human smuggling networks and save lives. ”
Video footage and later photographs of the hideouts show that any calls for help from those in the back of the van would not have been heard, confirming that Rahmani had no respect for the welfare. to be people he was paid to hide.
Upon arriving at the British border in France, British border force officers searched the vans and quickly identified the migrants hiding inside. All of the illegal migrants discovered claimed to be Iraqi males, under the age of 18.