Daily Express

Two saved in sinking boat admit people-smuggling


TWO British men have admitted people smuggling after they were rescued from a sinking boat in the English Channel along with 18 illegal immigrants.

Yesterday Mark Stribling and Robert Stilwell pleaded guilty to conspiring to assist unlawful immigratio­n following their bungled operation.

Stribling, 35, from Farningham, Kent, and Stilwell, 33, a former judo champion from Dartford, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court via video link, where they were remanded in custody for sentencing on July 29.

The pair were arrested after they were caught on May 29 attempting to smuggle 18 Albanians – including one woman and two children – into Britain through Dymchurch in Kent. The incident ended in an emergency operation involving the coastguard and lifeboat crews.

The rescue sparked new fears that migrants were using small boats to make the crossing to the UK.

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