A man who was, according to his solicitor, “at the lower end of a bigger chain” involved in illegal immigration to the UK has appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court and been jailed for three months.
Jafar Ahmad Amin Ababneh (48), a Jordanian with German citizenship, was in front of a judge via video link from Maghaberry Prison.
The defendant, with an address in Dusseldorf, admitted a charge of assisting unlawful immigration.
The charge was that on May 20 this year at Belfast International Airport, he facilitated the travel of a a person which he ‘knew or had reasonable cause to believe facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law by a person who was not a citizen of the European Union’.
A prosecutor said the defendant was located in the departure lounge ahead of boarding a flight to London Stansted.
The defendant told investigators he had been paid 400 Euro for getting involved and he had flown from Hamburg to Dublin before he made his way to Belfast.
The court heard the defendant knew he was “stupid”.
A defence solicitor said the defendant had been in custody since his arrest.
He said the defendant was a Jordanian of German citizenship and was a European Union national with a wife and two young children.
“He is at the lower end of a bigger chain. He was bringing someone else into the UK,” the court was told.
The solicitor said it was the defendant’s intention to fly back to Germany once he got to London.
The lawyer said the defendant, an unemployed hotel cleaner, “knew very little” about the other person.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a “serious offence” and the defendant had been accompanying an illegal immigrant who was a youth into the jurisdiction.
The defendant was jailed for three months.
The youth – a 17-year-old – who cannot be named because of his age – is charged with illegal entry into the UK and possessing a false identity document – ‘a Danish 1951 Refugee Document’.
He was released from custody on £500 bail and his case adjourned to Antrim Magistrates Court on June 19.
As part of bail he is not to apply for a passport or ID documents; is not permitted to leave Northern Ireland and had to report to police three times a week.