A prominent member of the English Defence League is a convicted people smuggler.
Ex-serviceman Allan Hetherington-Cleverley, 55, [pictured, left] is a regular at protests for the far-right group that advocates kicking Muslims out of the UK. But the Daily Star Sunday can reveal he spent four years in prison for smuggling Chinese immigrants across the Channel in an inflatable speedboat.
The former Grenadier Guard was paid £20,000 by an Albanian gangster to ferry the illegals from Calais in France to Newhaven in East Sussex in 2004. In two dangerous night-time trips across the world’s busiest shipping lane he helped to sneak 20 Chinese into the UK. The ex-soldier – who has changed his name from Allan Gallup – made the first trip alone but enlisted soldier pal Marcus Wakelin for the second a month later. But both missions were tracked by police from the air. The men were arrested and charged with facilitating illegal entry to the UK. Hetherington-Cleverley was sentenced to four years in 2005.
During their trial the court heard the pair showed little concern for the safety of the immigrants, who had paid £7,000 each to Triad gangsters.
Hetherington-Cleverley, who was in the Army between 1971 and 1977, is now good friends with EDL leader Stephen Lennon and has made speeches at their events. And the smuggler, who has also worked as a mercenary in Africa, has no regrets about his past. He said: “I am not ashamed of what I did. I did not steal anything, I did not hurt anyone, it was not a drug or sexual offence. It has nothing to do with my beliefs or my support for the EDL.”
A spokesman for anti-fascist website 1millionunited, said: “The public will not take kindly to a group who invite people-smuggling, self-styled soldiers of fortune to represent them at their public events.”
Star on Sunday