Man jailed after 17 migrants found in lorry in Surrey

The group were discovered sitting on pallets in the trailer in March

36-year-old Hakan Zengin from Turkey tried to smuggle 17 migrants out of the UK in the back of his lorry.

Author: Grace McGachyPublished 28 minutes ago
Last updated 28 minutes ago

A lorry driver who had 17 migrants hidden in his trailer when stopped by police in Surrey has been jailed.

36-year-old Hakan Zengin from Turkey was halted at the Wisley interchange back in March while trying to smuggle the migrants out of the UK.

When police and the National Crime Agency searched the vehicle they found the group sitting on wooden pallets that had been laid across the load to accommodate them.

Zengin pleaded guilty to facilitating illegal immigration, and a judge at Kingston Crown Court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison today (4 June).

The stop was part of a wider NCA investigation into a UK-based network suspected of smuggling migrants into and out of the UK using HGVs.

NCA branch operations manager Chris Hill said:

“People smuggling crime groups need corrupt HGV drivers like Zengin to operate. They think nothing of packing people into lorry trailers, or putting them into other extremely dangerous situations.

“While his motivation for doing this may have been money, Zengin has found out the hard way that working with these crime groups does not pay, and he faces a life-changing jail sentence far away from home.

“I hope this conviction and sentencing sends out a message to others who would consider getting involved. It simply isn’t worth it.

“Working with our partners in the UK and overseas we are determined to do all we can to disrupt people smugglers and put corrupt drivers like Zengin behind bars.”