An Egyptian man who posed for selfies while piloting a “flimsy” small boat across the Channel with 50 migrants on board has been jailed for more than three years.
Reda Hamoud Abdurabou was sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court after being found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration to the UK and attempting to enter the country illegally.
A Home Office spokesperson said. “Abdurabou took charge of a dangerously overcrowded small boat packed with 50 migrants during an attempt to reach the UK illegally in July 2022.
“He took pictures of himself as he did so, saving images to his phone that would later be used as evidence by the Home Office’s Criminal and Financial Investigations (CFI) unit.
The spokesperson added that the images were taken “moments before the dinghy was intercepted by Border Force” and show Abdurabou “posing with his hand on the tiller as he steered the boat towards the UK”.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said: “This pilot brazenly tried to flout our laws, and has rightly been brought to justice…
“Putting lives at risk by steering men, women and children across the Channel in flimsy dinghies will not be tolerated and we will continue to work relentlessly to stop these completely unnecessary crossings and ensure those responsible are put behind bars.”
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The Home Office spokesperson said the 25-year-old’s phone was seized after he was arrested when he arrived in the UK.
“Investigating teams found messages on his phone about his attempt to reach the UK illegally, along with the collection of selfies taken as he piloted the boat, putting dozens of lives in danger,” the spokesperson said.
“One selfie shows the defendant, wearing a yellow hoodie and a baseball cap, smiling as he sits at the stern of the boat perilously close to the waterline.”
Written by: Newsroom