A career criminal who used a web of more than 40 aliases to stay on the run after absconding from prison in the early 1990s has been jailed for three years and eight months for attempting to smuggle eight illegal migrants into the UK on a yacht.
The National Crime Agency began an investigation into 64-year-old Charles Lynch, also known as Wolfram Steidl, after his vessel, the 46 foot chartered motor cruiser Saquerlotte III, was intercepted by the Border Force cutter Seeker and Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV) Nimrod off the coast of Littlehampton, West Sussex on 6 November 2019.
Eight Albanian nationals were found on board, five men, two women and a child, and he was arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration. The vessel was escorted into Portsmouth naval base.
NCA investigators believe Lynch had used some of those aliases to evade the authorities during his time on the run, and he was found in possession of a selection of false identity documents, including a Danish driving license and Romanian ID card.
He had also been convicted and jailed for a number of offences in France, including possessing indecent images of children, under another identity.
Analysis of the Saquerlotte III’s movements prior to Lynch’s arrest showed he had made a number of trips between France and the UK, with the vessel having travelled between numerous marinas along the south coast, including Brighton, Littlehampton, Portland, Dover and Weymouth.
Lynch pleaded guilty to one count of facilitating illegal immigration and two counts of possessing a false ID document. Today (Friday 26 February) he was jailed for three years and eight months at Portsmouth Crown Court.
He will also have to serve the remainder of his sentence from the 1991 conviction consecutively.
Image may contain: 1 person, close-up