Man appears in court after Vietnamese migrants found in van at ferry port

A man has appeared in court after Vietnamese migrants were discovered in the back of a van at Newhaven ferry port.

Anas Al Mustafa, of Heather Crescent, Swansea, is accused of assisting unlawful entry to the UK following the major response at the East Sussex port on Friday.

Emergency services including ambulances, police and Border Force were in attendance at the scene and six people were taken to hospital on Friday.

The 42-year-old handyman, aided by an Arabic interpreter, spoke to confirm his name and date of birth at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The court heard from prosecutor David Holman that while on the ferry, seven Vietnamese nationals concealed in a van escaped by breaking through a wall.

They were trying to get out of the vehicle while others from the outside were trying to break them out, he said.

Mr Holman added that four of the migrants were still in hospital, and one was in a critical condition.

Ferry operator DFDS, which runs services between Newhaven and Dieppe in Normandy, northern France, confirmed on Friday that migrants were found on board the Seven Sisters vessel and said immediate medical attention was provided.

Al Mustafa was remanded into custody and will appear at Lewes Crown Court for a plea hearing on March 18.

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