A British man was sentenced to three years in the slammer for modifying his van’s engine — to accommodate an Albanian woman who sought to enter the UK illegally, the Daily Mail reported.
“This was a particularly elaborate concealment and it is a demonstration of the desperate lengths that individuals — and people smugglers — are prepared to go to in their attempts to breach the UK’s border controls,” border official Paul Morgan said of the Feb. 1 incident.
Driver Nicolae Chirvas initially told authorities he had been to Romania to visit his sister — then changed his story and said he had been to Germany.
When the Moldovan national, who lives in the UK, was recently asked at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, France, how many people were in the vehicle, he replied two.
But officials quickly put the brakes on his ruse.
“When officers flipped the hood of the van to examine the engine, they found it had been specially adapted,” Morgan said. “The whole engine had been lowered and in the void where you would normally expect to find a spare wheel, officers instead found a woman.”