People smuggler who tried taking three Vietnamese migrants into Kent in a roof box is jailed

People smuggler is jailed for three years after being caught trying bring THREE Vietnamese migrants hidden in a roof box with no ventilation into Britain

Robert Rooney admitted facilitating illegal entry of three migrants last OctoberThe HGV driver locked two men and one girl inside an ‘airtight’ roof boxHe was stopped at the UK-controlled zone in northern France, and arrestedRooney’s actions ‘facilitate this kind of trafficking’, the judge told him 

A people smuggler who tried to bring three Vietnamese migrants hidden inside an ‘airtight’ roof box into Britain through Kent has been jailed for three years.

Robert Rooney, 35, admitted facilitating illegal entry of two men and a 15-year-old girl after stuffing them into the tiny space on top of his Ford Focus.

The Irish-born HGV driver, of Edmonton, London, was stopped at the UK-controlled zone at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, northern France. 

Border Force officers who asked to check the roof box took the vehicle to a nearby garage last October, after Rooney claimed to have lost his keys.

They were startled to discover the three bodies inside the ‘airtight concealment’ – not much bigger than a suitcase – before arresting father-of-three Rooney. 

Robert Rooney admitted facilitating illegal entry of two men and a 15-year-old girl after stuffing them into the tiny space on top of his Ford Focus

The Irish-born HGV driver (pictured), of Edmonton, London, was stopped at the UK-controlled zone at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, northern France

The Irish-born HGV driver (pictured), of Edmonton, London, was stopped at the UK-controlled zone at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, northern France

Keys to the roof box were found on Rooney’s person, the court learned. 

Prosecuting, Bridget Todd told Canterbury Crown Court how ‘there was no attempt to put any ventilation in the box’, warning that its possible detachment on the motorway would have had ‘tragic consequences’.    

Rooney, who told border officers he had been visiting his brother in Belgium, was struggling with money and ‘clearly intended to gain financially’, Ms Todd added.

When questioned by police, the people smuggler admitted: ‘I did know what I was doing, but I will be making no further comment.’ 



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