A Dutch national who was caught in the process of sneaking nine Albanian nationals into the UK on a sailing vessel has been jailed.
Marco Den Hollander, 32, was sentenced on Friday (8 October) to 5 years and 7 months in prison at Ipswich Crown Court following an investigation by Border Force officers and Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigations team.
On 27 May 2021, Dutch authorities alerted Border Force as the sailing vessel MORGANA II left their waters without authority. The vessel was then tracked, intercepted and boarded by officers onboard HMC Searcher within UK territorial waters.
Marco Den Hollander was at the helm and informed Border Force officers that there were four people on board, and that they were friends of family, and friends who he was bringing to the UK. However, on inspection, officers found nine Albanian nationals hidden in the cabin – three women (one of whom was pregnant), two children (aged 4 – 6) and four men.
The vessel, passengers and skipper were brought ashore when it was then established that the vessel had been hired in Holland – a subsequent search found only six life-jackets for those making the dangerous crossing.
Mr Den Hollander was subsequently charged with facilitating a breach of the UK’s immigration law and remanded in custody. He pleaded guilty on 25 June 2021.
Tom Pursglove MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State said:
David Fairclough, Criminal and Financial Investigations team said: