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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Section 38: Assisting illegal entry and harbouring

135.Subsection (1) amends section 25(6) of the 1971 Act to enable the court to order the forfeiture of a vehicle where the driver is convicted of an offence under subsection (1)(a) or (b): ie where the driver is knowingly involved in assisting an illegal entrant or (for gain) an asylum claimant to enter the United Kingdom.

136.Subsection (2) inserts a new section, section 25A, in the 1971 Act. This provides that where a person is arrested for an offence under section 25(1) (a) or (b) of the 1971 Act, the ship, aircraft or vehicle employed may be seized by a senior immigration officer or police constable pending a decision to charge (or in Scotland, institute criminal proceedings against) the arrested person and, if charged (or criminal proceedings have been instituted), pending the decision of the court. On conviction, the court may decide to order the forfeiture of the transport involved under (the existing) section 25(6).

137.In order to detain a ship, aircraft or vehicle under section 25A(1), the senior officer or police constable must have reasonable grounds to believe that it could be subject to forfeiture by the court under section 25(6) upon conviction of the person concerned.

138.Under new section 25A(3), where the owner of the ship, aircraft or vehicle detained is not the person arrested for the offence, he may apply to the court for it to be released.

139.Where an application is made under section 25A(3) the court may order the release of the ship, aircraft or vehicle if satisfied that adequate securities are provided and on condition that it is made available to the court if, on conviction of the arrested person, it is ordered to be forfeited.

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