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Seven stowaways found in lorry in Kent

  • 31 January 2014
  • By Chris Tindall

Seven suspected illegal immigrants were found inside a lorry on the A2 near Cobham on Tuesday, after police received reports of suspicious behaviour of a vehicle.

The incident occurred just days after 48 stowaways were found in the back of a refrigerated lorry in France bound for Folkestone.

Both discoveries come as pressure mounted on the UK Border Force to be open about its activities after a report found it had suspended lorry checks in Calais.

In the Cobham incident, Kent police said it had taken into custody “several people” after finding them hiding in the back of the vehicle, before they were handed over to immigration officers.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed there were seven men, aged between 18 and 29 and from Iran, Turkey and Egypt.

“They face removal from the country if found to have no leave to remain,” the spokesman added. “We work closely with police to tackle illegal immigration.”

The shock discovery of 48 stowaways in the reefer occurred on 21 January during routine checks at Coquelles, as a HGV was waiting to board a shuttle to Folkestone.

The stowaways, 41 male and seven female, all said to be in good health, were handed over to the French authorities. Three of the group were believed to be minors.

The Romanian lorry driver has been arrested by the French border police.

“The dangers of using refrigerated lorries and sealed tankers in this way are self evident,” said Dave Hutchinson, Border Force south east and Europe deputy director.

“The consequences are potentially fatal.”


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