Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

People smuggler jailed for four years after yacht with six illegal immigrants onboard ran aground in Orford

PUBLISHED: 14:06 26 July 2017 | UPDATED: 19:55 26 July 2017

Police and Border Force officials keep watch on the yacht that was towed to Orford Quay with suspected illegal immigrants on board. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Police and Border Force officials keep watch on the yacht that was towed to Orford Quay with suspected illegal immigrants on board. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Andrew Whinney

A 48-year-old people smuggler who tried to help six illegal immigrants enter Britain through Suffolk has been jailed for four years.

Police and Border Force officials with the yacht that was towed to Orford Quay with suspected illegal immigrants on board. Picture: CONTRIBUTED Police and Border Force officials with the yacht that was towed to Orford Quay with suspected illegal immigrants on board. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Hennadii Kurtoglu was charged with assisting illegal entry into the UK after he was found on a 28-foot sailing yacht with six illegal immigrants on the River Ore, near Orford, following reports the yacht was struggling in strong winds.

The UK Coastguard, RNLI lifeboat crews, Suffolk police and UK Border Agency all attended and seven people, including Kurtoglu, were arrested, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Kurtoglu initially pleaded not guilty to assisting illegal entry but today changed his plea to guilty.

Jailing him for four years, Judge Martyn Levett said the shoreline in the area of Bawdsey and Orford was remote with miles of isolated beaches.

Seven suspected illegal immigrants were taken into custody after arriving at Orford Quay earlier this year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED Seven suspected illegal immigrants were taken into custody after arriving at Orford Quay earlier this year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

He said that as a result of patrols on short routes from Europe being stepped up, those involved in people smuggling had used longer crossings, with East Anglia becoming a favourite target to land illegal immigrants.

He said Kurtoglu would have succeeded in bringing the illegal immigrants into the UK if his boat hadn’t been blown on to a mudbank by high winds.

In addition to jailing Kurtoglu, Judge Levett made a forfeiture order for his yacht.

Alan Compton, prosecuting, said at 8.30am on April 30 a small sailing yacht was spotted struggling near Orford and was approached by the coastguard.

There had been no communication by the boat and as the coastguard approached people were seen going below and the hatches closed.

Kurtoglu initially claimed the four men and two women on board were crew and that they had been blown off course while travelling to Spain which was clearly a lie, said Mr Compton.

He said two of the men on board had previously tried to enter the UK.

Andrew Thompson, for Kurtoglu, said his client had no previous convictions and had three children in Ukraine.

He said Kurtoglu had purchased the boat for a discounted price on the basis he would take six passengers on a trip and it was only during the course of the crossing he understood what was going on.

One of the biggest care homes in Ipswich is closing – and the news has come as a shock to residents and their families.

A deal which is hoped to breathe new life into Suffolk’s only railway pier was agreed today after months of fundraising by the community.

The equivalent of 92 ambulance staff shifts were lost in January due to delays at A&E in Suffolk and north Essex, it has been revealed.

A man has been arrested following a single vehicle crash on the A14 at Nacton which left a vehicle on its roof.

MPs from across the region have met with ambulance bosses amid ongoing concerns over the crisis that hit the service during the festive period.

Markedly fewer people are smoking within the grounds of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals since vaping zones were introduced, bosses have said.

The Felixstowe Fairtrade Forum has come up with an unusual way of promoting events for the upcoming Fairtrade Fortnight.

“I must have been the only headteacher in the country going home every day praying that Ofsted would come in, because we knew we were good,” says Rick Tracey.

Four people have appeared in court charged with affray, following an alleged brawl at an Ipswich hotel.

A Felixstowe man brandished a pruning saw during a late night fight with neighbours at a block of flats in the town, a court has heard.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24