Yacht skipper jailed following Border Force sea interception
A Dutch national who was caught in the process of sneaking 9 Albanian nationals into the UK in a sailing vessel has been jailed.
Marco Den Hollander, 32, was sentenced on Friday 8 October to 5 years and 7 months in prison at Ipswich Crown Court following an investigation by Border Force officers and Immigration Enforcement’s Criminal and Financial Investigations team.
On 27 May 2021, Dutch authorities alerted Border Force as the sailing vessel MORGANA II left their waters without authority. The vessel was then tracked, intercepted and boarded by officers onboard HMC Searcher within UK territorial waters.
Marco Den Hollander was at the helm and informed Border Force officers that there were 4 people on board, and that they were friends of family, and friends who he was bringing to the UK. However, on inspection, officers found 9 Albanian nationals hidden in the cabin – 3 women (1 of whom was pregnant), 2 children (aged 4 - 6) and 4 men. The vessel, passengers and skipper were brought ashore when it was then established that the vessel had been hired in Holland – a subsequent search found only 6 life-jackets for those making the dangerous crossing.
Mr Den Hollander was subsequently charged with facilitating a breach of the UK’s immigration law and remanded in custody. He pleaded guilty on 25 June 2021.
Tom Pursglove MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State said:
These sorts of evil criminals are motivated by money alone and this man clearly had no regard for the people on board who he put into grave danger, which could have had tragic consequences.
This case is an excellent example of the fantastic work of our frontline officers who are doing everything they can on land, sea and in the air to prevent illegal immigration and bring the criminals responsible to justice.
Our new plan for immigration will change the law so those who facilitate these dangerous crossings will face a maximum of life imprisonment. They should be in no doubt about the seriousness of these crimes and the punishment they will face.
David Fairclough, Criminal and Financial Investigations team said:
Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to those that have a blatant disregard for the law and treat people like cargo, putting profits before lives.
You will be brought to justice and pay for your crimes.
The public should be in no doubt of our determination to crack down on these heinous criminals that facilitate people smuggling.
Latest News from
Further boost for people applying for EU Settlement Scheme15/10/2021 13:10:00
£3 million funding extension for network of grant funded organisations to support EU Settlement Scheme applicants
UK ministers meet to drive progress on tackling drug misuse12/10/2021 14:10:00
Government ministers and experts from across the home nations came together to discuss new ways to tackle illegal drug use across the UK.
Drug testing on arrest expanded to help cut crime07/10/2021 11:10:00
The government is keen for police to expand their use of the practice to identify more drug users and crack down on so-called recreational drug use.
Tougher penalties for protests causing disruption on motorways06/10/2021 11:10:00
The measures include a new offence of interfering with the operation of key infrastructure – including motorways, railways, and airports.
Inquiry launched into issues raised by Couzens conviction05/10/2021 15:20:00
The government will also launch a taskforce to drive cross-government action on tackling violence against women and girls.
Police & Local Authorities given extra £23.5m for safer streets05/10/2021 11:10:00
Successful bids from the third round of the Safer Streets Fund announced, with Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities to receive an extra £23.5m
Military finish up training to start fuel deliveries as government extends support to industry04/10/2021 15:24:00
UK government announces additional measures to help ensure the stability of the UK supply chain.
Insecure ID cards phased out as travel document to strengthen UK borders04/10/2021 11:10:00
UK Border Force will not be accepting insecure ID cards from most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, in a move that will strengthen UK borders.