Two years to put migrants on trucks heading from Bilbao to the UK by ferry

The Second Division of the Biscayan Court sentenced two Albanian citizens to two years in prison for placing their citizens on board trucks that were on their way to transport ferries to the United Kingdom, from the port of Bilbao and from Santander, according to the ruling published yesterday. By the Supreme Court of Justice of the Basque Country (TSJPV).

The two individuals were charged with the ongoing crime of promoting illegal immigration aggravated by the danger to life. Some migrants emerged from shipping containers of coal, windmills and other products they were hiding in because they could not breathe after more than ten hours.

The events were recorded between August 2020 and July 2022, although the trial was not held until last February, so a mitigating circumstance was applied to them, which is the unjustified delay, in addition to another similar circumstance, which is the delayed confession. Under an agreement between the Public Prosecution, which demanded six years in prison, and the defense, the defendants who were in temporary prison for this reason admitted the facts and saw their sentence reduced to two years.


According to the decision, these two men often traveled to Albania in search of “new clients.” They charged them or their families a certain amount of money, through direct payments or money transfers, to facilitate their entry into the UK. Thus, they found the trucks that would take the ferries to the ports of Portsmouth, Liverpool or Glasgow, or at the Altop service station or at companies located in industrial areas. They broke into trailers and put them inside without checking whether the goods were dangerous.

On no fewer than a dozen occasions, they were discovered by merchants or dock workers, by the Civil Guard and even by the ship's captain, who, after discovering ten stowaways in the ship's hold, decided to return to land in Bilbao.

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