TWO Sheffield men who tried to smuggle nine Kuwaitis into the UK in the back of a van have been jailed for a total of 11 years.
Tarik Mohammed was stopped in a Ford van by Border Force officers as they disembarked the overnight ferry from Rotterdam at Hull King George Dock on June 14 last year.
Hull Crown Court heard the officers searched the vehicle and found the nine clandestines hiding among clothing in the back.
The court was told investigations by the UK Border Agency led them to Mohamed Ghafil Al-Kulefi.
He was arrested a month later at his home in Sheffield, and claimed he had never met Mohammed.
But further investigation revealed he had bought the £2,000 van in Sheffield and had been in frequent phone contact with Mohammed both before and during the trip to pick up the illegal immigrants in France, Belgium and Holland.
Al-Kulefi, aged 40, who is Kuwaiti, of Pitsmoor Road, Pitsmoor, and Dutch national Mohammed, 42, of Leverton Gardens, Sharrow, pleaded guilty to nine counts of conspiracy to commit a breach of immigration law.
All nine stowaways - believed to have paid around £4,000 each to be smuggled into the UK - were sent back on the next ferry.
Al-Kulefi was jailed for six years while Mohammed was given five years.