Hekmat jailed for trying to hide a migrant under blanket in the back of his car
Salah Hekmat, 43, insisted the Iranian national had snuck into his Mercedes while he made a cup of tea roadside in France.
He claimed the migrant was 'clever' and got into his vehicle when he was not looking.
But Hekmat has been found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration into the UK following a two day trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
This picture taken at the time shows the startled man squashed between clothing and seats
The sentence handed out should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to get involved with this kind of criminality
It was heard during the trial that Hekmat was stopped by Border Force officers at the UK inward tourist controls at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France on June 28 last year.
He was questioned and an examination of his vehicle uncovered a man hidden under a blanket on the rear seat.
A picture taken at the time shows the startled man squashed between clothing and seats.
The man was identified as an Iranian national and was passed to the French Police Aux Frontieres.
Hekmat was found guilty of assisting unlawful immigration at Canterbury Crown Court
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Hekmat, of Kensal Green, London, was arrested and the case was handed to Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigation officers.
He was later charged with assisting unlawful immigration into the UK.
In interview Hekmat claimed that he did not know the man had been hiding in his car and said on his journey to Coquelles he had stopped at roadside services where he used his portable stove to make himself a cup of tea.
He also said he used the washing facilities and stated that the man must have been clever and got into his vehicle.
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He was found guilty by majority verdict on Thursday and sentenced immediately to 18 months imprisonment.
Assistant Director David Fairclough, from the Immigration Enforcement Criminal and Financial Investigations team, said: “Any attempt to breach the UK's immigration laws is an extremely serious matter and the consequences are severe.
“The sentence handed out should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to get involved with this kind of criminality. We will catch you, and put you before the courts.
“We will continue to work closely with Border Force colleagues to rigorously investigate allegations of immigration related criminality.”