MIL-OSI United Kingdom: People smuggler jailed for cramming woman behind car dashboard

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Source: United Kingdom – Government Statements

Shocking photos captured by officers show the woman wedged inside a tiny, custom-built hideaway behind the Vauxhall Vectra’s glovebox.

At Canterbury Crown Court today, Slovakian national Jozef Balog was sentenced to two and a half years for assisting unlawful immigration.

In June 2022, the British registered vehicle was intercepted by Border Force at the UK Control Zone in Coquelles, Northern France. Balog, 33, claimed to be returning to his home in Manchester after visiting relatives in his home country.

When searching the front passenger side, Border Force officers noticed the carpet was further forward into the footwell than expected.

A subsequent search, which involved the removal of the glovebox, revealed a Vietnamese woman in cramped conditions behind the dashboard.

The vehicle had been modified and parts removed to create the tiny concealment.

The Vietnamese woman was identified, deemed to be an illegal entrant, and served with the requisite paperwork.

Steve Blackwell, Deputy Director of Criminal and Financial Investigations at the Home Office, said: 

This is a truly shocking case that shows the callous disregard these criminals have for the lives and safety of the vulnerable people they exploit.

We have once again shown that those who seek to exploit our border will be caught and brought to justice.

I am grateful to the officers who identified this horrific incident and brought the case to a positive conclusion.

MIL OSI United Kingdom