Stowaways found in lorry headed for the North East

Image caption The lorry was headed for an industrial estate in Peterlee

Four stowaways have been found in a lorry carrying machine parts heading to the North East.

The Italian-registered vehicle was stopped by UK Border Agency officers in Calais. A body detection dog found the four Eritrean nationals hiding inside.

The lorry was headed for the North West Industrial Estate in Peterlee, County Durham, the UK Border Agency said.

The stowaways were photographed, refused entry to the UK and handed over to the French authorities.

Heartbeat monitors

The lorry was allowed to continue on its journey after being stopped on 10 June.

The haulier was fined £3,000 - £750 for each stowaway, and the lorry driver, who was Serbian, £800 - £200 for each stowaway.

Tom Dowdall, director of Border Force European Operations, said: "We are committed to tackling illegal immigration and its harmful effects.

"Our officers use hi-tech search equipment and an array of search techniques to combat illegal immigration.

"These include body detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors and heartbeat monitors as well as visual searches to find well-hidden stowaways."

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