Father-of-three jailed after trying to smuggle three migrants in an “airtight” roof box on his car through UK controlled zone in France

Robert Rooney, 35, stuffed two men and a teenage girl, 15, into the box on top of his Ford Focus

Two men and a 15-year-old girl from Vietnam were found crammed inside the tiny compartment on top of HGV driver Robert Rooney’s Ford Focus by officers of the UK controlled customs zone in France.

A court heard how Rooney, 35, told officials in the UK controlled zone at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France, the box had “camping stuff” inside.

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But when Border Force officers opened it, the first thing they saw was a “human arm”. Harrowing pictures show the migrants inside the roof box, which is not much bigger than a suitcase.

The Irish-born HGV driver was arrested and when quizzed by police, told them: ‘I did know what I was doing, but I will be making no further comment.’

Prosecutor Bridget Todd told Canterbury crown court the box was, “an airtight concealment”, adding: “There was no attempt to put any ventilation in the box.

The father-of-three from Ireland was jailed for three years, his family all wept in the court as the verdict was readout.


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