Orford: Three people smugglers face jail after Suffolk beauty spot used regularly for bringing illegal immigrants into Britain

Orford Quay

Orford Quay - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk riverside beauty spot is a regular location for smuggling illegal immigrants into Britain.

This shocking claim was made as members of an eastern European people trafficking gang face jail terms after admitting a midnight attempt to bring in illegal immigrants through Orford.

After being caught trying to sneak six Ukranians in through Orford Quay in July, one trafficker told officials he had already done the trip seven times previously, a court heard.

Illegal immigrant Oleksander Kozak, of Middleton Street, London, yacht captain Oleg Bogdanov, 41, from Ukraine and his crew member Oleksii Pavliuchenko, 21, also from Ukraine, admitted assisting the unlawful immigration of six Ukrainian males when they appeared at Ipswich crown Court yesterday.

The offence was said to have occurred between July 1 and July 3 this year.

Kozak, who drove a vehicle up to Orford from London, also pleaded guilty to falsely possessing a Polish driving licence.

The 25-year-old’s girlfriend Tanya Boginska, also of Middleton Street, London, who was a passenger in the vehicle, admitted falsely possessing a Lithuanian identity card.

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However the 24-year-old denied assisting the unlawful immigration of the six Ukrainian men.

Judge David Goodin said it was possible there would be significant jail sentences in the case.

At the quartet’s first hearing before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in July prosecutor Lesla Small said at around midnight on July 2 immigration officers were laying in wait at Orford Quay.

They had received information about smuggling at the quayside.

Ms Small said as officers kept watch they saw people disembarking from a yacht and getting into a vehicle driven by Kozak.

All six Ukrainians and the four defendants, who are also Ukranian, were detained when officials swooped.

Kozak – who had a false Polish driving licence - was taken to a police station where he originally gave a false name to officers.

He subsequently disclosed his identity and it was discovered he was in the country illegally and had been here for five years.

Ms Small told magistrates: “The Crown say it is an organised operation.”

She added: “He said he had answered an advert. He had done this sort of trip seven times and picked people up from Orford Quay and dropped them off in various locations in London.”

After the guilty pleas were entered during yesterday’s crown court hearing Judge Goodin adjourned sentencing until next month.

Turning to the defendants he said: “The offences to which you are pleading guilty variously are serious ones. Not for nothing over the course of the last years has the maximum sentence available doubled from seven to 14 years. Breaches of immigration law are widespread, are a perceived problem and call for deterrent sentences. Those sentences will be passed on Wednesday afternoon October 1 by me or by another judge of this court.”

All four defendents were remanded in custody until their sentencing.