Judge's criticism as Vietnam traffickers jailed
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
A Northamptonshire judge has criticised the country's immigration system as he jailed a man and woman for trafficking illegal immigrants.
Hanh Van Vu, 40, was found guilty of offences relating to human trafficking by a jury at Northampton Crown Court. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
His half-sister Duc Thi Vu, who he illegally married, has been jailed for two years after admitting four charges.
Judge Richard Bray said immigration controls were “pitifully inadequate”.
The pair, from Vietnam, were caught when a man they brought into the country contacted police.
That man, Duc Lee, said he arrived at a UK airport with another man in January 2000 using false names given to them by Van Vu.
He was stopped and searched at immigration but allowed to go through.
Mr Lee told the court he was taken to an address in London where Van Vu told him he owed 20,000.
Mr Lee told the court he spent years working to try and raise the money.
Earlier a jury found Van Vu guilty of charges of obtaining property by deception, two counts of willingly and knowingly making a false declaration to obtain a marriage certificate, two counts of assisting illegal entry and possession of false identity.
Thi Vu had previously admitted to charges of knowingly and making a false declaration to obtain a marriage certificate, obtaining property by deception, use of a false instrument and obtaining a passport by deception.
Andy Radcliffe, UK Border Agency chief immigration officer on the East Midlands Foreign National Crime Team, said: “These defendants cruelly took advantage of their victims, forcing them into a modern form of slavery while personally reaping significant financial rewards.
“I am pleased with the tough sentences they have received.”