Drivers held as 68 found in lorries

Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Four Polish lorry drivers arrested after 68 suspected illegal immigrants were found locked in their vehicles are still being questioned by authorities.

They were taken into custody after the 35 Afghan nationals, 22 Chinese nationals, 10 Vietnamese and one Russian passenger were discovered at Harwich International Port in Essex at about 10pm on Thursday.

It is one of the “biggest single finds of clandestines coming into the UK”, according to Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex.

Fifteen of those discovered hiding amid Polish washing machines were children.

In total seven people – including two pregnant women – were taken to hospital to be checked before being released into the care of Border Force officials.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed that 53 adults and 15 children were found during a “proactive search”.

The 68 individuals arrived at the port at 7.45pm on lorries that had boarded the Stena Hollandica ferry which sailed from the Hook of Holland at 2.25pm

Staff and volunteers from the British Red Cross were providing practical and emotional support including blankets, food and hygiene packs to those affected.

Leigh Daynes, executive director of Doctors of the World UK which provides medical aid to undocumented migrants throughout Europe, said: “Over and over we see migrants who have risked life and limb to cross Europe.

“With few safe routes to enter the continent, many more will continue to take dehumanising and perilous journeys like this.”

In a separate incident, at 5pm yesterday an Irish Navy ship rescued a small craft with 113 people on board that was in distress 40 km north of Tripoli, Libya.

Acting on information received from the Italian Marine Rescue Coordination Centre, a rubber inflatable craft was located within the area being patrolled by the L.E. EITHNE.

The 113 men, women and children were transferred to an Italian ship for onward passage to a port of safety.

Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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