Men caught smuggling immigrants into Southwold harbour
- Credit: Archant
Two men were caught trying to smuggle a pair of illegal immigrants into the UK through Southwold Harbour.
Denys Khvatkov, 19, and Bohdan Lutskyi, 29, were arrested in an operation by Border Force officers on July 31, who targeted the yacht, which sailed to the UK from the Netherlands.
The sailing vessel was moored at Southwold Harbour shortly after 9pm and Border Force officers boarded the yacht and found Khvatkov and Lutskyi along with two Albanian nationals, who had with no leave to enter the UK.
Adam Norris, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said the arrests were part of a much bigger network involving people smuggling.
Khvatkov and Lutskyi, who appeared over a video link from Norwich Prison, admitted at an earlier hearing assisting unlawful immigration to a member state in breach of UK immigration laws and were due to be sentenced on Wednesday.
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However defence barrister Danielle O’Donovan asked for the case to be adjourned so Ukrainian nationals Khvatkov and Lutskyi, who had the help of a Russian interpreter in court, could get separate legal representation at the next hearing.
She said after having a conference with the two men it was important they had their own separate representation as she said the individual roles they played in the operation would be an important factor.
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Judge Stephen Holt said that he had no option but to adjourn the case for a week until October 2, so the two defendants could get their own legal representation.
He also told them at the next hearing, one or both of them might be required to given evidence about their involvement in the people smuggling operation.
After the pair were arrested in July, minister for immigration compliance and the courts Chris Philp said: “Working together with partners at home and abroad, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement are determined to disrupt and dismantle organised immigration crime networks.”
He said: “Those who profit from the misery of others will be brought to justice.”