Drivers regularly transporting goods to the UK know well that in northern France there is a danger of immigrants getting into the semitrailer. Stowaways are doing everything to get to the islands. Unfortunately, the consequences are borne by drivers who are often not even aware that someone has got into their semitrailer. The 54-year-old Briton, who was arrested for smuggling people, learned it the hard way.
Sherralin Ballard has been driving a truck for 33 years. For 15 years she has been transporting loads on international routes. She must regularly cross the French-British border. When the authorities discovered 12 Iraqi immigrants in her trailer, she was stunned. Her surprise was even greater when the police officer told her that she had been arrested on suspicion of smuggling people to Great Britain, the Sky News reports.
All I could rely on was the truth, @620Viking tells @SkyNews. She endured 15 hours in custody in northern France after a dozen migrants had broken into her trailer. Misery for lorry drivers caught up in the migrant crisis https://t.co/IaJYRln2LA #Ouistreham #Caen pic.twitter.com/v3GxF4ZkRG
— RHA News (@RHANews) September 10, 2018
Immigrants broke into the trailer 2.5 hours from Caen
Sherralin was coming back from Spain. She stopped in the service area about 2.5 hours from the French port of Ouistreham to rest. Her truck was well secured. The next day she came to the port and went through ordinary security checks. Suddenly a guard approached her and said that 2 illegal immigrants were found in her semitrailer. After a thorough search of the trailer, it turned out that there were 11 men and one woman in cargo boxes.
When the British asked one of the immigrants what gives them the right to break into her semi-trailer and expose her to injury, he replied that they were going to England and that she would not lose her job anyway, and the damage would be covered by the insurance. The other man added that they were going to the UK because the English bombed their country.
Sherralin was taken to the police station, where she was locked in a cell for 15 hours. Her phone and all documents were withheld by the officer. She had no witnesses, so she could only rely on the testimony of 12 immigrants. The trucker was finally released from custody and allowed to return to England. However, not every story ends like this.
Penalties for the transport of immigrants
Immigrants always work in a group – and consequently – penalties multiplied by their number are more severe. For one immigrant, a penalty of up to 2 thousand pounds may be imposed. Mandates are usually imposed on both the driver and the owner of the vehicle.
The explanations provided by the driver determine the amount of the penalty. When the the fine is not paid, the Border Force (British Border Guard) has the right to confiscate the vehicle. It happens, however, that such a decision can be delivered to the entrepreneur many months after the incident with immigrants, when the carrier has long forgotten that such a situation has happened.
Border Force accreditation can protect against punishment
To obtain such a certificate, special procedures must be implemented to protect against the intrusion of illegal immigrants. Based on the Border Force guidelines, rules of conduct should be established and measures should be taken to limit the access of unauthorized persons. An additional necessity is to train employees on the procedures used. The company’s task is to demonstrate the effectiveness and continuity in the application of security measures.
Receiving Border Force Accreditation is a confirmation of a high level of company security, which makes the company more credible on the British market. Thanks to this solution, during the inspection, if an illegal immigrant is found in the vehicle, the company will not be charged with a fine or will be treated much more mildly. The accreditation program is available to all transport companies that carry out transport between continental Europe and the United Kingdom, regardless of size or country of origin.