Ex-footballer jailed for trying to smuggle Afghans into UK
KABUL (Pajhwok): A former professional footballer has been jailed for attempting to smuggle 10 Afghan migrants into the United Kingdom, a leading newspaper reported on Sunday.
Fabrice Lokembo-Lokasowas detained in Calais as he tried to board a ferry to Dover in a van carrying four men, two women - one of them pregnant - and four children.
Daily Mail Online quoted the Congolese player as claimingto have been dragged into people smuggling by £35,000 debts he had to return.
Having played for clubs in Belgian and Israeli top divisions, he picked up the migrants at Calais' Jungle camp, prosecutor Eric Fouard told a court in Dunkirk.
The former Sporting Charleroi defender prayed before a judge: “A guy in Brussels called, Malikinvited me to deliver some furniture to England and I had no idea what the van contained.”
When he reached Calais, the footballer added, another man, named Al, told him what was going on and offered him 1,000 euros per head to transport the 10 people.
The former footballer, who has played 41 times for the Belgian side Sporting Charleroi between 2002 and 2005, will be deported after he has served his sentence
For the Israeli team Maccabi Petah Tikva, he scored once in a short nine-game stint for the club. Lokembo-Lokaso then moved to Cyprus, playing for two second division teams and one top-level club.
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