Kent

Motorhome used to smuggle Albanian immigrants

Canterbury Crown Court Image copyright Google Maps

Three men used a rented motorhome to smuggle Albanian nationals into the UK for profit, a court has heard.

Border Force officers at Dover said they discovered four migrants hidden inside the vehicle when it was stopped after crossing from Dunkirk in France.

Scott Fontana, 45, James O'Leary, 33, and Robert Moore, 29, are charged with conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law by a non-EU citizen.

All three deny the charges and are on trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

Prosecutor Chris May told the court the mobile home was stopped on 13 October 2017.

He said the three defendants "were involved in the conspiracy to bring these illegal entrants into the UK".

Mr Fontana, of Robert Street, north-west London, Mr O'Leary, of Weedington Road, north-west London, and Mr Moore, of Grafton Road, north-west London, all deny the charges against them.

Jurors were shown CCTV of Border Force officers pulling the Albanian men from cramped compartments within the van.

Mr May said: "The prosecution say there's no way they could have got in there without the people in the motorhome knowing all about it."

The court heard that the motorhome had been hired from a company called McRent for a fee of £515, paid for using Mr Fontana's card.

A fourth man, Gary Miller, 30, of Newington Green Road, Islington, north London, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate a breach of immigration law, the jury was told.

The trial continues.

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