At 5am on 6 January 2016 Border Force officers at the UK inward tourist controls at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France stopped a British-registered car containing 2 men and a woman.
Enquiries by Border Force found the vehicle’s driver, Ana-Maria Roman, and the other passenger, Skender Amati, had left Manchester late the previous afternoon, 5 January. The pair had travelled to Calais by ferry on a one-way ticket leaving Dover on the 2:25am departure arriving in France at 3:55am.
They, along with the second man, then arrived 52 minutes later at the Eurotunnel ticket booth in Coquelles to travel back to the UK on another one-way ticket.
Roman and Amati were arrested and the investigation passed to Immigration Enforcement criminal investigation officers. In interview the pair said they had travelled to Calais to visit Roman’s brother, and then picked up the man who they believed to be Romanian at a petrol station en route to the Channel Tunnel.
They were charged with assisting unlawful immigration into the UK on 7 January 2016.
Roman, 27, a Romanian national resident in Manchester, pleaded guilty at hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on 11 April.
Amati, 50, an Albanian born British national, was found guilty by a jury on 3 August after a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Both were sentenced at the same court yesterday, Tuesday, 16 August.