A FRENCH court on Monday sentenced an imam to two years in prison for selling inflatable boats to people smugglers to carry Britain-bound migrants across the Channel.
Mohammad Baraeikechighaleshi, 39, was found guilty at a trial in Boulogne-sur-Mer of arranging several journeys from the northern port town of Calais to the UK and of making thousands of euros buying rubber dinghies and selling them to traffickers.
The political refugee refused to be branded a “people smuggler,” despite claims he knew he was being paid to help illegal immigrants cross over into the UK.
Mr Baraeikechighaleshi, a political refugee from Iran, was also banned from visiting the Nord and Pas-de-Calais region for five years.
He fainted upon hearing his sentence, according to the French daily Le Monde, which added that his 11-year-old daughter – also present at the hearing – started screaming and had to be looked after by social services.