Iraqi/Iranian human traffickers jailed in UK

Two men have been jailed in the UK for smuggling themselves and 23 other people across the English Channel on two small boats.

Iraqi national Assad Abdul Latif Sayed Abdulghany, 30, and Iranian national Ali Azarkish, 23, were both sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment having previously admitted assisting unlawful immigration into the UK.

Their convictions were secured at Canterbury Crown Court with the help of Border Force footage which showed the men in control of their vessels.

Abdulghany and Azarkish had their rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) intercepted at sea on September 15th.

Abdulghany had attempted the crossing with 16 others, including six children, while Azarkish tried to bring seven people to the UK. Abdulghany claimed to have paid £4,000 for the crossing, the Home Office said, whilst Azarkish said he was told it was €2,500 (£2,240) to be smuggled to the UK by boat, but that if he steered, the journey would be free.

Last week, two further Iranian men were sentenced to 24 months for attempting to cross the Channel with 29 people on two boats.

All the jailed men will automatically be considered for deportation at the end of their sentences.

Image: By VOA- Nicolas Pinault - VOA News (, Public Domain,

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