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Orford: Gang Jailed For Smuggling
A gang who attempted to smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK through a quiet Suffolk village quay have been jailed.
Ukrainians Oleg Bogdanov, Oleksander Kozak and Oleksii Pavliuchenko were stopped by Border Force officers as they attempted to bring the would-be migrants into the country using Orford Quay in Suffolk.
They had hoped that by targeting an isolated spot under the cover of darkness, they could escape detection, Home Office officials said.
But immigration officers had watched events unfold on CCTV and moved in as the immigrants, five men and a woman all from Ukraine, stepped on to the quay.
A Border Force patrol boat intercepted the 35ft yacht and escorted it back to land.
Phillip Holliday, Border Force regional director, said: ``These smugglers thought that because they were operating at night and because they were targeting a small quay their offences would go undetected. They were wrong.
``The message this case sends out couldn't be clearer. No matter what route criminals take to try and breach our border controls, we have the capability to stop them.
``Border Force officers, and our fleet of cutters, play a key role in preventing people smuggling and illegal immigration as well as intercepting shipments of drugs and other prohibited goods.''
Bogdanov and Pavliuchenko were caught piloting the 35ft yacht in the early hours of July 3.
Kozak was waiting in a people carrier on the quayside, ready to collect the immigrants.
The six Ukrainians brought into the UK as part of the plot have been removed from the country.
The trio all pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate a breach of the UK's immigration laws.
Pavliuchenko, 21, of no fixed address, was jailed for two years and four months; Bogdanov, 41, also of no fixed address was sentenced to four years and Kozak, 25, of Middleton Street, Bethnal Green, was imprisoned for three years and four months at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, the Home Office said.
Tanye Boginska, 24, who lived with Kozak, was caught in the vehicle with Kozak and admitted falsely possessing a Lithuanian ID card. She was jailed for 12 months.
Inspector Andy Radcliffe, from the Home Office's criminal investigations team, said: ``Where we have information about suspected illegal immigration we act on it swiftly. Anyone involved in this kind of criminality should know that that we will catch them and that when we do - as these sentences show - the consequences are considerable.''
Pavliuchenko, Bogdanov, Kozak and Boginska will all be automatically considered for deportation at the end of their sentences.
Anyone who has information on suspected immigration offenders can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/report-crime
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call a hotline on 0800 59 5000.
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