TWO Gibraltarian sisters have been jailed in the UK for a total of eleven years after attempting to smuggle seven Albanians, including a minor, into the country.
Alison Alman, 43 was jailed for six years and her older sister, Fabiola Alman, 47 was imprisoned for five years.
UK Border Force officers suspicions were raised after they searched the women’s camper van after they had arrived in Portsmouth on a Brittany Ferries vessel from Bilbao.
They encountered an ‘unbearable’ smell of excrement and urine coming from the back of the vehicle.
A simple scan revealed that seven individuals had been crammed in the rear sleeping area.
“Alison put the smell down to some cheese kept in the fridge, which had been switched off for 24 hours,” the prosecutor told the press.
“Fabiola stated that the toilet was full, and put this down to her sister being a big eater.
“She said she herself suffered from constipation and did not use the toilet.”
The six men were returned to Bilbao while the minor was passed into the care of social services.
Despite first protesting their innocence, it became evident that the sisters were involved in serious crime.
Alison had agreed to smuggle the men into the UK as a way of writing off debts to her drug dealer in London, who she owed £4,000.
However, Alison was unable to drive the camper van herself due to a previous conviction for drink driving.
Her sister Fabiola instead agreed to do the driving for an £800 fee.
“People smugglers like Fabiola and Alison Alman exploit the vulnerable and put lives at risk while lining their own pockets in the process,” said Chief Immigration Officer Jo Howorth.
“Their attempt was stopped by Border Force officers who identified the people they had hidden in the motor home in squalid and dangerous conditions.
“I hope this case serves as a clear warning that those who try to break the UK’s immigration laws will be brought to justice.”