Ex Army officer tried to smuggle Iranians into UK on eBay boat after benefit cut

A former Army officer upset at a benefits cut tried to cash in on people smuggling – using a tiny pleasure boat he bought on eBay.

Lindsay John Simpson was caught bringing two Iranians who had paid him £900 each from France to England.

French police arrested the 64-year-old in the Channel before he hit UK waters and returned him to France for trial.

He admitted guilt but said cash woes drove him to act.

Simpson told the court in Dieppe: “I have big financial problems with the drop in disability benefits following a decision by the UK Government.

"I had seen a documentary on the transportation of migrants to England who paid for their transport. So I decided to do it.”

Simpson, from Newhaven, East Sussex, added: “I was looking for doctors. There is a lack of them in England.” His lawyer, Celine Lebourg, said: “He is not part of any channel of smugglers.”

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