Two men caught smuggling three people from Iraq into the UK in a speedboat they were towing have been jailed.
A man, woman and child were found hidden in a secret compartment in the boat by Border Force officers in Dover.
Inaros Ranya, 37, and Kalid Rashid, 36, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester had arrived at the port on a ferry from Calais in 2018.
Ranya was jailed for 20 months at Manchester Crown Court while Rashid was jailed for 30 months.
‘Purpose built hide’
Ranya admitted three counts of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration at an earlier hearing while Rashid denied the charges but was convicted after a trial.
The Home Office said the pair were in a British registered Nissan Pathfinder towing a speedboat when officers carried out an inspection on 5 September 2018.
Ranya was driving the car which had previously crossed from Dover to Dunkirk on 3 September, it said.
An X-ray examination of the boat showed three people concealed in a secret compartment under the cockpit of the vessel, the Home Office said.
Ranya had bought the boat using an alternative name.
Photos obtained from the previous owner proved the wall under the cockpit had been installed after the purchase specifically for people smuggling, the Home Office said.
CCTV footage of Ranya departing from the UK showed the boat he was towing with the altered cockpit installed.
“Border Force officers selected the car and trailer for examination and identified a ‘purpose-built hide’ in the cockpit of the boat,” Dan Scully, director for Border Force South East and Europe said.
“Inside they found three people including a child. It was an important detection, without which Ranya and Rashid would not be facing justice.”