Man Jailed For Assisting Unlawful Entry

Monday, 16 August 2010
A 32 year old man from the Czech Republic has been sentenced to two years in prison at Canterbury Crown court for smuggling six Vietnamese nationals into the UK.

On the 17 April 2010, UK Border Agency officers in Dover stopped a Czech registered Mercedes van. The driver, Zdenek Vildner, said the load was band equipment and instruments that he had collected in Paris for delivery to Stansted Airport.

Officers unloaded the van, including six black boxes which initially appeared to be large stage speakers stacked one on top of the other.

On closer examination, officers discovered six Vietnamese nationals - five men and one woman - concealed one to a box. Each had been screwed shut from the outside.

Vildner was arrested and interviewed by the UK Border Agency's Frontier Crime Unit and was then charged with assisting unlawful immigration to the UK and remanded in custody.

On sentencing Vildner, on 29 July 2010, the court also recommended he be deported after serving his sentence.

The six stowaways were interviewed and removed from the UK the same day.

Karyn Dunning, who heads up the UK Border Agency Local Immigration Team in Kent, said:

"Vildner deliberately set out to make money by abusing the immigration system and put people's lives in danger in the way he concealed them in his vehicle.

"This case is a true success for us - an unscrupulous man is behind bars and would-be illegal immigrants have been stopped from entering the UK.

"Day-in, day out, the Kent Local Immigration Team is acting on intelligence supplied by the community to prevent abuse of the immigration system. I urge anyone with information to report it to us."

Anyone who has information about immigration crime can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit

UK Border Agency officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

They also use an array of search techniques including detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and cigarettes which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

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