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HomeUKChannel migrant tried to evade smugglers' compensation by taking control of dinghy,...

Channel migrant tried to evade smugglers’ compensation by taking control of dinghy, court told


Prosecutor Daniel Bunting told the court that an investigation showed that Mr Chitioui had “planned” the trip several weeks earlier.

Messages dated June 8, 2022, obtained through his WhatsApp, show him telling another person that he “agreed” to drive the boat. In a message he said: “I want to go, I am a captain, I am a fisherman by origin.”

Mr Bunting said: “This is him offering his service because the driver is not paying. He agreed to pilot the boat for free passage to the UK. This is a clear indication that he arranged it several weeks before the crossing and offered his services to avoid paying, as someone in his position would have had to do.

“It wasn’t something he agreed to do on the day he agreed – this was something he planned in advance. He wasn’t just a passenger, he was someone driving the boat.”

A total of 51 migrants were on board the sloop, including 28 Afghans. Under current UK law, some citizens from certain countries require permission to enter the UK and must apply for a visa.

Mr Chitioui denies aiding illegal immigration to the UK. However, he has admitted an alternate number of attempted entry into the UK.

The case continues.

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