'Brazen' Romanian caught smuggling Albanian mother and son into UK

‘Brazen’ Romanian caught smuggling Albanian mother and son into UK while his baby daughter slept on back seat is jailed for 20 months

  • George Lupu, 36, and partner, Victoria-Elena Tudor, hid woman under blanket
  • French border police also found the woman’s son lying in a footwell in the back 
  • Lupu was given 20 months in jail while his partner got a suspended sentence  

George Lupu, 36, (pictured) and his partner, Victoria-Elena Tudor, ‘brazenly’ hid a woman underneath a blanket in the boot of their Vauxhall SUV

A Romanian man who tried to smuggle two Albanians into Britain in a car while his baby daughter slept on the back seat has been jailed for 20 months. 

George Lupu, 36, and his partner, Victoria-Elena Tudor, ‘brazenly’ hid a woman underneath a blanket in the boot of their Vauxhall SUV and her young son across the rear footwell. 

With Lupu driving and Tudor, 33, in the passengers’ seat, they approached the Channel Tunnel entrance at Coquelles in France where border guards quickly noticed the poorly-hidden pair along with £1,000 in cash in his jacket pocket. 

Images showed the woman, dressed in jeans and black hooded jacket, as she left the boot. Her son’s foot, clad in a distinct Adidas trainer, could also been seen protruding from underneath the baby seat.

Meanwhile, Lupu and Tudor’s one-year-old daughter was asleep in the back seat.  

The Albanians found in the vehicle were passed to French border police, and the couple, from Stratford, London, were arrested and later charged with assisting unlawful immigration to the UK.

Images taken by French border police showed the woman, dressed in jeans and black hooded jacket, as she left the boot

An investigation was launched by the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement unit, but during multiple interviews, the couple declined to answer questions.

The couple appeared at Canterbury Crown Court in Kent in September, 2019, charged with assisting unlawful immigration to the UK.  

Lupu pleaded guilty and although Tudor initially pleaded not guilty, she changed her plea during a hearing at the same court on March 4, 2020.

During a hearing on Monday, Lupu was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment and Tudor was sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years. 

Chris Philip, Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts said: ‘This was a brazen, unsophisticated, attempt to circumvent the UK’s immigration laws.

‘We are working around the clock with law enforcement and international partners to tackle people smuggling, a criminal offence that so often takes advantage of vulnerable people.’ 

Her son’s foot, clad in a distinct Adidas trainer, could also been seen protruding from underneath the baby seat

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