Friday, August 04, 2006

The Chinese Way - To Margate

An Austrian man has been jailed for four years after trying to bring illegal immigrants into the country through Margate harbour.

German Fredjtof Thiele, 57, and his partner, Austrian woman Birgit Bilek, 27, were arrested at Margate pier on April 7 by Kent Police officers after the catamaran they were sailing was boarded near the harbour by Customs officers.

They not only discovered the couple from Hamburg, but 13 people purported to be Japanese tourists.

The 13 people were detained by immigration officers as illegal immigrants and it was later determined that they were in fact Chinese, using stolen, lost and forged passports.

Thiele pleaded guilty to the charge in Canterbury Crown Court and was sentenced to four years imprisonment. The case against Bilek, who is soon to give birth, has been discontinued.

Ed: I still think they were Japanese tourists looking for the Turner Contemporary!

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