Stowaways discovered in lorry

Afghan stowaways found in lorry headed for Pontefract
Afghan stowaways found in lorry headed for Pontefract

FIVE Afghan stowaways were prevented from illegally entering the country after they were caught hiding in a lorry heading for Pontefract.

The men were discovered when UK Border Agency officers working at Calais examined a Czech registered vehicle carrying a load of sweet wrappers to the town.

A body detection “sniffer” dog called Jake alerted the officers to people hiding among the load, and a thorough search of the trailer revealed five Afghan men.

The stowaways were removed from the lorry and handed to the French Frontier Police (Police aux Frontieres).

The vehicle was then allowed to continue on its journey, although the driver and the haulier may now be liable to a fine if they are found not to have taken adequate steps to secure the load.

Carole Upshall, the UK Border Agency’s director for European operations, said: “As well as using sniffer dogs, our officers also use heartbeat detectors and carbon dioxide probes and physical searches to find people attempting to enter the country illegally by hiding in vehicles.

“The UK Border Agency has a strong presence at French ports like Calais to help protect the whole of the UK – in this case Pontefract.”

The stowaways were found on August 25 as a result of UK Border Agency officers in northern France carrying out early morning checks on vehicles destined for the UK.

UK Border Agency officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

They use an array of search techniques to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and cigarettes.