In a daring act of subterfuge, a pair of alleged human traffickers posed as lovers in a bid to smuggle migrants clandestinely into the United Kingdom through the Channel Tunnel.
The alleged smugglers, identified as cousins Mihai-Alin Mitu, 24, and Ionut-Marian Mitu, 18, were apprehended at the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles, France, after attempting to transport five people hidden in their car to the UK.
The pair had used a forged Romanian passport to enter the Eurotunnel terminal and bypass security. Once inside, they sought to deceive border control officers by pretending to be a couple on holiday.
However, their ploy was foiled when the officers became suspicious of the couple’s story and subsequently conducted a detailed search of their vehicle.
Crammed in the back of the car, officers discovered five people – two adults and three minors – all of whom were believed to be Romanian nationals.
The minors were immediately taken into the care of French authorities, while the two adults were arrested and charged with attempting to aid illegal immigration. The cousins were also detained and are currently facing charges of human trafficking.
The incident marks the latest instance of human traffickers using the Eurotunnel to smuggle migrants into the UK illegally. It is believed that the traffickers have exploited the tunnel’s security measures in similar attempts in the past.
The incident has raised questions about the efficacy of the Eurotunnel’s security protocols, as well as the need for further measures to prevent such criminal activity.
The Eurotunnel Company has yet to comment on the incident.