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The long road to Europe

I hear that a British tyre dealer is to be prosecuted for complicity in bringing illegal migrants into the UK. Although this is probably an unwelcome ‘first’ for the tyre industry many others have tried and where some have succeeded, many others have failed.

Over the past few years there have and continue to be many attempts to smuggle migrants across our borders and especially across our natural barrier, the English Channel. Many individuals have died in the process through suffocation, hypothermia in refrigerated trucks or from injuries on rail tracks and a myriad of other places but this tyre-related effort was just a little different and really quite ingenious.

As I think I have reported in the past here in Britain and Ireland there is an active trade in second-hand car tyres originating mainly from Germany where tyre-conscious motorists often change tyres well before the legal minimum. The result is that these not-quite worn out products are resold in the UK and elsewhere.

Recently, an ingenious merchant filled a container with less than legal part-worn tyres having stuffed a score or more human beings in first. It did not work because of thermal imaging cameras employed by the authorities spotted human cargo amongst all that rubber and the organisers of the shipment arrested. Needless to say, the defence was that he could not remember where on the continent he had bought the tyres or from whom was rejected by the court. The fact he could not come up with any paperwork for this shipment of products he claimed were intended for resale also found no favour with the judge. For the plaintiff the killer blow however was almost all the tyres in the container were worn beyond the legal limit so were waste and of no commercial value at all!

End of story

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