A woman has revealed her shock after opening her car boot to discover a family of migrants during a cigarette run to France.
Kaylee Carson, from Peterborough, took the trip to Calais to buy cheap cigarettes, she attempted to return to the UK – but border police uncovered a family hiding in the boot of her car.
She ended up being arrested on human trafficking charges and imprisoned for three months in France, before she was released.
The mother-of-one opened up about the experience on tonight’s Young, Dumb and Banged Up in the Sun, which airs tonight at 9pm on 5Star.
Kaylee Carson, from Peterborough, was imprisoned for three months in France after police found a family hiding in the boot of her car following a cigarette run to Calais
Kaylee took the spontaneous trip to Calais with her cousin on the hunt for cheap cigarettes.
Having made the four hour drive to Dover, they took the ferry across the Channel to Calais.
The duo got their cigarettes and put everything in the backseat of their car, checking that nothing was in the boot.
But they missed the ferry on the way back and had to go to Dunkirk instead, where they stayed in a hotel for the night.
But they didn’t check the boot again, and when they arrived at the border and police checked, they found a family of the hiding inside.
Kaylee revealed: ‘I was like wow, I was just in shock. There was a family of three with blankets and bags of clothes wrapped round them.
‘I said to the police ‘get them out of my car!’ I was just in shock. I don’t know how I didn’t hear them or my car didn’t feel heavier.’
She said: ‘I thought it was a joke to start with. I didn’t have a clue how they got there. They must have got in there at the hotel.’
Kaylee revealed she was left shell-shocked when border police found the family hiding in the boot of her car
Kaylee revealed she thought the police would understand she’d had no idea who the people were at first.
But they weren’t sympathetic, with Kaylee saying: ‘They said to me it’s a known thing that happens it’s all over the news.
‘I was like I don’t watch the news in France it’s not on the news in England… I don’t check the boot of my car before I go anywhere.’
A shell-shocked Kaylee and her cousin were handcuffed and taken for questioning.
She said: ‘I knew trafficking existed but I never expected to be caught up in it. I was just in shock.
‘They kept saying we were lying to them. Thought we set it all up.’
Kaylee was forced to hand over her phones – and that’s when the severity of the situation really hit her.
Police told her that they were going to jail and that she and her cousin could face 10 years in jail.
She said: ‘We begged, pleaded and cried for them to let us go.’
After a week spent in custody, the women were taken to court – but were refused bail because they didn’t live in France.
They were remanded in French jail in Lille until police finished investigating, an experience that Kaylee called ‘quite scary’.
She revealed that the women kept glass in their bras to ‘feel safer’.
Another prisoner was put next to them who had doused her child in bleach, while another woman killed herself after being given a 6 week sentence for not paying a bus ticket.
Trafficking gangs charge £5,000 per adult migrant to smuggle them into Britain
Children are being brought into the UK for a fee of £2,500 each by armed traffickers on small boats across the English Channel.
Iraqi Kurdish gangs offer ‘half price deals’ to parents, who are charged £5,000 for the same trip, wanting to escape to Britain with their children.
The families are brought over to Dover on small vessels from Calais after being targeted by gangsters trying to sell them a better life.
However if they do make it across the Channel, which is unlikely due to UK Border Force and French patrols, they are hunted by gangs and forced into slavery.
Children are being brought into the UK for a fee of £2,500 each by armed traffickers on small boats across the English Channel
A refugee told the Mirror that you have to pay the mafia in order to gain access to a boat and make it across to England.
Echoing a warning issued by French police, Save the Children slammed the findings and said that it is ‘sickening’ that children are being put in danger.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid was last night forced to cut short a safari in South Africa amid a growing outcry over his ‘Dad’s Army’ handling of the Channel migrant crisis.
But speaking today during a visit to Dover, immigration minister Caroline Nokes revealed that Home Secretary was on his way back.
Iraqi Kurdish gangs offer ‘half price deals’ to parents, who are charged £5,000 for the same trip, wanting to escape to Britain with their children
She said: ‘I can’t comment on his whereabouts for security reasons, but he is on his way back and he will be at his desk on Monday.
‘He is taking control of the situation and I am in regular contact with him, and we had a conference call just yesterday.’
Reports suggest that the number of migrants attempting to cross the Channel to England has hit more than 220 since the start of November.
Many of those trying to get across the to Britain from Iran have middle-class backgrounds and paid for the trip after selling their homes or borrowing money.
Many spend months living in Calais waiting for the go ahead to be told that they are going to make the trip across the channel, sometimes with children too.
Iranian Ahmad Lorpur, 36, spent four months living in a tent in Calais and said that the traffickers call themselves ‘agents’, adding that he had met one of them an Iraqi Kurd in his twenties.
Ahmad, who has two children Mariam, seven and Benyamin, two, said that he has no money left now but if he had £15,000 he would pay to make the trip.
As the weeks passed, the women would work out in their cell together.
Kaylee said: ‘I lost about three stone while I was in there I lost all my baby weight.
‘It was so hot in there. I knew we were near a beach and wished we were outside. It took us a few weeks to settle in.’
During the two half-hour sessions each day outside, Kaylee and her cousin would contemplate escaping.
Her mental health started to suffer from spending 23 hours a day in prison, and Kayleugh began bickering with her cousin.
She said the prison guards wouldn’t treat them well, refusing to let them call home and at one stage turning off the water for 15 hours as a punishment.
In response, Kaylee revealed she made signs telling them to f*** off, saying: ‘We thought we would have to play them at their own game.’
After 11 weeks, they were permitted to see their family, with Kaylee seeing her daughter for the first time in almost three months.
She said: ‘It was horrible that was the worst part – when the visit was over.
‘Every day we didn’t know what was going to happen.’
But after three months, the investigation between the British and French authories came to a close and the women were released without charge.
She said: ‘One day they knocked on the door and brought us paperwork. It was all in French. We had to guess what it said and then we signed and were allowed to go.’
Kaylee revealed she and her cousin were deported from France, calling leaving prison ‘amazing’.
She said: ‘It was exciting to see my daughter, family and friends. The weather was nice, I was still able to enjoy the summer. Getting on that plane it felt real.
‘Three months then felt like forever, but it could have been so much worse.’
She added: ‘I don’t think I’ll go on a tobacco run again.’